It has long been known that sharks will regularly cross main roads in the ocean, and it is suspected that they use the geomagnetic field to orientate them.Now, there is scientific evidence to prove this
A study has now been published in Current biology It reveals how sharks sink in the earth’s magnetic field, thereby guiding the sharks to fly larger. The scientific community has long suspected the existence of this behavior, but has not been able to scientifically prove this behavior. For example, great white sharks travel between South Africa and Australia in an almost perfect straight line every year, without realizing how they are positioned between currents, temperature differences, and night swimming, while the sky has no stars.
University of Florida researcher Bryan Keller (Bryan Keller) built a system that replicates a specific magnetic field. The system has a 3.5-meter-long cube and a large tank with copper wires coated at precise intervals of 1.7 kilometers at the center. Copper connected to an electric current acts as a conductor and generates a magnetic field. The researchers adjusted the strength of the magnetic field to replicate the specific conditions that sharks encounter on the high seas. If the sharks move in a certain way and direction, it means that they are using magnetic information to adjust their position and navigation. wiredTo determine which course to choose.
This work proved that sharks can use this type of data to determine their location.
The researchers used “small” migratory sharks, which are about 50 to 75 cm long and travel thousands of kilometers between Florida and the Gulf of Mexico each year in the wild. The experiment replicated the magnetic field found in three different locations: one near Florida, the other 600 kilometers south but along its usual trajectory, and the other 600 kilometers north, which is completely unknown to animals. The research team concluded that different magnetic fields produced different responses to animals, and the “instinct” made them always move on trajectories that they already knew they would walk in free water.
Kenneth Lohmann, a professor of biology at the University of North Carolina who was not involved in the study, said, “This is a very interesting work and a clear proof that sharks use the earth’s magnetic field as a kind of map.” Sharks know the magnetic “address” of their natural habitat and use this information to know where to return, even if they have covered thousands of kilometers.