The Week

Chris Gayomali
January 2, 2014

If your dog spins in circles or acts like a spaz before squatting to poop, don’t worry: She just might be trying to align herself with the Earth’s magnetic field.

 

We’ve known for a long time that animals use the planet’s magnetic field, or MF, to orient themselves. Birds and sea turtles use it to travel unfathomable distances with stunning accuracy. Cattle, for whatever reason, prefer to align themselves along the north-south axis while grazing. Light-sensitive proteins recently discovered in the human eye suggest we may have once been able to even see it.

 

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