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Response to Durif et al.

Putman, Nathan F., Naisbett-Jones, Lewis C., Stephenson, Jessica F., Ladak, Sam and Young, Kyle F. 2017. Response to Durif et al. Current Biology 27 (18) , R1000-R1001. 10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.046

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Abstract

Our recent study [1] in Current Biology used a magnetic displacement experiment and simulations in an ocean circulation model to provide evidence that young European eels possess a ‘magnetic map’ that can aid their marine migration. Our results support two major conclusions: first, young eels distinguish among magnetic fields corresponding to locations across their marine range; second, for the fields that elicited significantly non-random orientation, swimming in the experimentally observed direction from the corresponding locations would increase entrainment in the Gulf Stream system. In their critique, Durif et al. [2] seem to conflate the separate and potentially independent ‘map step’ and ‘compass step’ of animal navigation. In the map step, an animal derives positional information to select a direction, whereas in the compass step the animal maintains that heading 3, 4. Our experiment was designed such that differences in eel orientation among treatments would indicate an ability to use the magnetic field as a map; the compass cue(s) used by eels was not investigated.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier (Cell Press)
ISSN: 0960-9822
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 19 July 2017
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2019 14:56
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/102706

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