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Nearly blind mole rats use their eyes to detect magnetic fields


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Nearly blind mole rats use their eyes to detect magnetic fields

Environment 30 September 2020 By Donna Lu Ansell’s mole rats may detect magnetic fields with a receptor in their eyesblickwinkel / AlamyCertain mammals are able to detect magnetic fields, but where the sense originates from has long remained elusive. Now, the organ that houses magnetic sensors in mole rats has been identified. Kai Caspar at…

Nearly blind mole rats use their eyes to detect magnetic fields


Environment



30 September 2020

By Donna Lu

New Scientist Default Image

Ansell’s mole rats may detect magnetic fields with a receptor in their eyes

blickwinkel / Alamy

Certain mammals are able to detect magnetic fields, but where the sense originates from has long remained elusive. Now, the organ that houses magnetic sensors in mole rats has been identified.

Kai Caspar at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and his colleagues have found that the Ansell’s mole rat (Fukomys anselli) uses its eyes for magnetoreception.

This species of mole rat, known for digging long, subterranean tunnels, has poor eyesight and tiny – but structurally intact – eyes. “They do not …

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