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Compass creatures

Cows, deer line up with Earth’s magnetic field

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4:09pm, August 25, 2008
In a forest, the north side of a tree is covered with moss. But if you’re lost in an open field, look to the deer to point you in the right direction.  

Herds of grazing and resting deer and cattle tend to align themselves with Earth’s magnetic field lines, a hint that the large mammals can somehow sense the invisible field, a new analysis suggests.

The new findings come from field studies and analyses of satellite images. Although most individual cows and deer in a group aren’t perfectly aligned with the planet’s magnetic field, the entire herd, on average, points either toward magnetic north or magnetic south, says Hynek Burda, a zoologist at the Unive

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