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Old 02-05-2010, 12:04 PM   #1
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butterfly Monarch butterflies reveal a novel way in which animals sense the Earth's magnetic field

Monarch butterflies reveal a novel way in which animals sense the Earth's magnetic field
UMass Medical School neurobiologists use transgenic fruit flies and monarch butterfly transgenes to help define magnetoreception mechanism
Public release date: 24-Jan-2010
Contact: Alison Duffy
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Monarch butterflies reveal a novel way in which animals sense the Earth's magnetic field
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WORCESTER, Mass.óBuilding on prior investigation into the biological mechanisms through which monarch butterflies are able to migrate up to 2,000 miles from eastern North America to a particular forest in Mexico each year, neurobiologists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have linked two related photoreceptor proteins found in butterflies to animal navigation using the Earth's magnetic field. The work by Steven Reppert, MD, professor and chair of neurobiology at UMMS; Robert Gegear, PhD, research assistant professor of neurobiology; Lauren Foley, BS; and Amy Casselman, PhD, is described in the paper, "Animal cryptochromes mediate magnetoreception by an unconventional photochemical mechanism," to be posted on-line in the journal Nature January 24...
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Old 02-05-2010, 03:21 PM   #2
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That would explain why monarchs migrate during the day, and roost at night. If there is a photoreceptor involved in sensing magnetic north, then they need sunlight to tell which way to fly.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:50 AM   #3
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dragonfly01 Unconventional? Sez who?

That says most of it - just because the researchers haven't seen this before doesn't mean it's all that unusual. Not with millions of migratory species to search thru & the vast changes in research equipment that have occurred at such stunning speed over the past 20 years alone.
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animals, butterflies, earth, field, insects, magnetic, magnetic field, magnetic north, magnetoreception, migrate, monarch, monarch butterfly, monarch butterfly migration, monarch migration, monarchs, neurobiologists, neurobiology, photochemical, photoreceptor, reveal, sense

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