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Wood Ants Orient to Magnetic Fields

Yilmaz camlitepe and David J. Stradling
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Vol. 261, No. 1360 (Jul. 22, 1995), pp. 37-41
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/50044
Page Count: 5
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Wood Ants Orient to Magnetic Fields
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Abstract

We report here, the first evidence that ants Formica rufa L. exhibit a magnetic compass response. For a period of seven days, foragers were trained to visit a food source accessed through a choice chamber situated inside a solenoid. When all other orientational cues were eliminated, the distribution of ants entering the choice chamber was significantly heterogeneous; a majority visiting the previous location of the food source. Energization of the solenoid, causing a 90 degrees rotation of the magnetic field, resulted in a significant proportion of ants orienting to the altered field.

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