Animals’ magnetic ‘sixth’ sense might be from bacteria

Animals that that have a magnetic ‘sixth sense include sea turtles, birds, fish, and lobsters, Specific species use this ability as a navigation tool, such as sea turtles that are, impressively, able to return to the location of their birthplace.

Researchers propose that the magnetic sense comes from a symbiotic relationship with magnetotactic bacteria, a special type of bacteria whose movement is influenced by magnetic fields, including that of Earth’s.

Magnetotactic bacteria are associated with many animals, including a penguin species, loggerhead sea turtles, bats and Atlantic right whales. It is still not known where in these animals the bacteria would live, but it may well be associated with nervous tissue, like the eye or brain.

Learning how organisms interact with magnetic fields can improve humans’ understanding of how to use Earth’s magnetic fields for their own navigation purposes.


Picture Credit : Google