Effect of a magnetic pulse on orientation behavior in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
Magnetoreception remains one of the most enigmatic of animal senses. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) represent an ideal species to study this sense, as magnetoreception based upon microscopic particles of magnetite is suspected to play an important role in their orientation and navigation. Here we found that compared with controls, a magnetic pulse (a treatment commonly used to demonstrate magnetite-based magnetoreception) can induce orientation behavior in juvenile rainbow trout on a specific experimental day. Multiple circular-linear regression also indicated that this effect could at least be partially explained by daily variation in solar electromagnetic activity (i.e., sunspot count and disturbance storm time index). These results are consistent with magnetite-based magnetoreception in rainbow trout and suggest that 1) solar activity may impact magnetic orientation and 2) researchers should be cognizant of its potential consequences on studies of magnetoreception.
Fitak, RR; Wheeler, BR; Johnsen, S
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