Imagine being able to sense when a magnet is near you. That just the presence of a magnet is enough to be able to identify it. Well, new research now suggests that Dolphins can do just that.
In a test, Dolphins were presented by a magnetized object, as well as a non-magnatized object, and the Dolphin swam more quickly toward the magnetized object. The study found that as they swam more quickly toward the magnetized object that they probably use this sense of magnetism to navigate around the world.
Researchers believe that they do this by swimming along, or navigating along the natural magnetic field Earth has, and called the skill “magnetoreception.” However, dolphins aren’t the only animals in the world with this magnetic sense.
In fact, turtles, pigeons, rodents, insects, bats and even deer possess similar skills and inceptions.
However, the study also found that in addition to just swimming toward magnetized objects more quickly, it was common for the dolphin’s behavior to change entirely while in the presence of magnetized objects.
This research though is relatively new, for its kind. Dolphins generally have not been studied in terms of magnetoreception, and this offers the first of new insights into the sea-baring creatures. In the study, the magnets were the only variable – so the study was sound, as well.
It’s been speculated upon for some time though that dolphin’s and other cetaceans – like free-roaming ocean species, use the magnetic field of Earth as a means of orientation and navigation. The goal though isn’t just to know whether dolphin’s have the ability or not though.
Scientists ultimately are working to figure out how something like this works, and why it works the way it does. It’s hard to speculate on something like that without having a great deal of information on it – and now understanding dolphin’s possess this skill is just another way for scientists to gain more understanding on mechanisms like this and how they function within the body.