‘Chemical Compass’ created

Maybe it’s because I just finished The Subtle Knife this morning (book II in the His Dark Materials Triology) but I found this article fascinating.

http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080429/full/news.2008.788.html

Lab work proves reactions can be influenced by the Earth’s weak magnetic field.

Quote: “Research published this week proves for the first time that chemical reactions can be influenced by magnetic fields as weak as the Earth’s — a vital finding for one theory regarding animal navigation.”

I’ve always found pole shifts unceasingly fascinating. When I was in Costa Rica, I ended up at Tortuguero, which is one of only a few spots on the planet where sea turtles return to lay their eggs. Scientists have been trying to figure out a) why they return to the same beaches century after century and b) how they find their way back. I got an earful of information while standing THIS CLOSE to a giant female turtle digging a hole to deposit eggs. She was over 100 years old and larger than my arm span.

I was told that there was an anomoly in the magnetic field at every nesting site and that magnetite present in sea turtle brains was likely to be involved in navigation but they didn’t know exactly how the whole process worked. What I wanted to know was this: sea turtles pre-date the last pole shift. So, was magnetic navigation always part of their make up or was it an evolutionary response to crazy pole shifting action?

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~ by fluvial on April 30, 2008.

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