Magnetic compass … Here’s how dogs go home! | Science and Technology Latest Discoveries and Studies by DW Arabic | DW

From north to south and from west to east, this distance can take you a long time, and maybe the need for GPS help or charts, and you may need to ask someone for directions, why? Because our sense of direction is not as strong, or at least not as strong as it is in dogs and other animals.

This was achieved by the dog Pablo, who got lost on a camping vacation with his family on the Franco-Swiss border and a few days later reappeared at the family home hundreds of kilometers away from where he disappeared. Q: How did you do that?

loyal friends

Dogs are known for their sailing skills and in fact we envy them and have historically used them precisely for this talent, for example in World War I dogs were assigned as messengers, transmitting instructions and messages to dangerous front lines.

But there is little research as to why they have such distinctive navigation skills. Scientists have studied other animals like birds and reptiles more than “our loyal dogs.” In the past we assumed she relied on her sense of smell to find her way. , but that is about to change. “

Borda and his team put forward another compelling theory, which is that dogs use the Earth’s magnetic field.

In 2013, Borda noticed that dogs bent down to stress or urinate in a north-south direction, and when his team conducted research, they came up with a possible explanation. Dogs can sense the Earth’s magnetic field, which is like an “inner compass”.

Seven years later, the team gathered the first evidence that hounds could actually analyze ways to return to their owners after chasing animals into unfamiliar terrain. They were surprised to find that the dogs turned through a new road, along a north-south axis for a distance of 20 meters before choosing the return route, which the Board calls the “compass route”.

Dogs are not the only ones

Navigation skills are not limited to dogs. Other animals have the ability to determine their own paths. Salmon is one of the most prominent navigators known to science.

After traveling in the ocean, the salmon returns to the rivers and streams where it was born.

After hatching in fresh water, the salmon embark on an epic journey that can take years to the North Atlantic, sometimes covering an area of ​​9,000 km, before returning and returning to their native stream where they breed. Scientists have found small deposits of magnetite – a magnetic mineral – in salmon pockets, which is why they think there may be a compass in the nose.

But scientists believe that for dogs and salmon it depends not only on their “magnetic” ability, but because of other abilities, like the strong sense of smell for both; salmon can distinguish the smell of a drop of water. in which it was born, even if it is mixed with other water Dogs retain information about the scent of their owners.

Mary Sina \ MS

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