Google Earth Lands in Middle of Magnetic Cow Controversy
In 2009 the same German-lead team found evidence that supported their original conclusion. They studied the effect of magnetic fields from high-voltage power lines on herds of cattle and determined that proximity to the power lines can disrupt the bovines’ magnetic sense, causing them to align randomly. The phenomenon dissipates as the cattle move farther from the lines, as described in an article in scienceblogs.com by writer Ed Yong. Yong also pointed out that magnetic orientation in mammals has been known to scientists for quite some time, but the research has generally been confined to animals that are easy to study in a laboratory, namely, small mammals such as bats and hamsters. Google Earth provided the first opportunity to study large mammals on a systematic basis.