The earth’s magnetic fields are what is used to make a compass work. This magnetic pull is virtually undetectable to a human and can only be determined with a compass or other scientific gear. Scientists have always suspected that there is some mechanism in some animals and even insects that can detect the magnetic fields and can help them migrate from place to place. But up until now have been unable to identify what it is. Recently, a group of scientists working at the University of Texas in Austin have discovered an organic mechanism in a worm that proves that they can use the earth’s magnetic fields to travel.
The roundworm that the mechanism was found in is a type of roundworm that is a free living worm and lives in a temperate soil environment. A lot of roundworms are a parasite and live in a host like a dog or a human. This roundworm makes its way through the soil using the earth’s magnetic fields to decide the direction. The scientist recognized a structure that looked a lot like an antennae in the top portion of the brain of the roundworm. It relays the information that it picks up from the mechanism that picks up the magnetic pull.
Magnetic Field Testing
The scientists have hope now that this same mechanism can be found in other animals that are thought to have used the magnetic field to migrate such as sea turtles and even bats. They tested the theory by putting the roundworms in a tube with soil and put a magnetic field around it. They found that the worms usually moved downwards through the tube which is where they would tend to find food. When a magnetic field stronger than that of the earth’s magnetic field was turned on the worms began to lose their way and stopped moving in a downward migration. The scientists were even able to collect worms from other areas of the world and tested them with the same theory. For example the worms that were brought in from Australia still dug which direction for them would be downwards which is actually up here in America.
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