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Waved albatrosses can navigate with strong magnets attached to their head
Mouritsen, H.; Huyvaert, K.P.; Frost, B.J.; Anderson, D.J. (2003). Waved albatrosses can navigate with strong magnets attached to their head. J. Exp. Biol. 206: 4155-4166.
In: Journal of Experimental Biology. Cambridge University Press: London. ISSN 0022-0949, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors | Dataset 

    Phoebastria irrorata (Salvin, 1883) [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    waved albatross Phoebastria irrorata navigation magnetic orientation satellite telemetry

Authors  Top | Dataset 
  • Mouritsen, H.
  • Huyvaert, K.P.
  • Frost, B.J.
  • Anderson, D.J.

    The foraging excursions of waved albatrosses Phoebastria irrorata during incubation are ideally suited for navigational studies because they navigate between their Galápagos breeding site and one specific foraging site in the upwelling zone of Peru along highly predictable, straight-line routes. We used satellite telemetry to follow free-flying albatrosses after manipulating magnetic orientation cues by attaching magnets to strategic places on the birds' heads. All experimental, sham-manipulated and control birds, were able to navigate back and forth from Galápagos to their normal foraging sites at the Peruvian coast over 1000 km away. Birds subjected to the three treatments did not differ in the routes flown or in the duration and speed of the trips. The interpretations and implications of this result depend on which of the current suggested magnetic sensory mechanisms is actually being used by the birds.

  • Waved Albatross Tracking, more

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