26 Jan '13, 8pm

Dung Beetle Uses The Milky Way For Navigation, First Animal Found To Do So

Dung Beetle Uses The Milky Way For Navigation, First Animal Found To Do So

The dung beetle is now the first animal proven to use the light of the Milky Way for orientation and navigation, thanks to new research from Wits University. The vast and dim milky glow of our home galaxy apparently provides a good source of orientation when the Sun or a bright Moon isn’t available (or meteor showers for that matter ). Dung beetles don’t have eyes that are sharp enough to clearly distinguish between exact constellations (from our current understanding of their eyes). They rely on the overall gradient of light to dark, that the light of the Milky Way provides, to get a sense of orientation. This allows them to make sure that when they are harvesting dung from a dung pile, that they continue moving away from it instead of accidently circling back into their competitors. “The dung beetles don’t care which direction they’re going in; they just need to get away...

Full article: http://planetsave.com/2013/01/26/dung-beetle-uses-the-mil...

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