How blind mole rats find their way home

9:00am, February 11, 2004

The blind mole rat is the first animal found to navigate by combining dead reckoning with a sense of Earth's magnetic field, researchers say.

People and dogs can manage minor feats of dead reckoning, going in the right direction for at least a little ways in the dark, explains Tali Kimchi of Tel Aviv University in Israel. In mammals, this process, called path integration, relies on internal clues such as the sensations of walking. Bees and ants enhance path integration by reading the position of the sun.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News