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Foxes have a compass

Today I learned that foxes probably use the earth’s magnetic field to judge the distance to their prey. A scientist of the University Duisburg-Essen in Germany noticed, while watching foxes in the Czech Republic, that foxes hunting for hidden prey (such as mice underneath the snow cover) facing the north-east directory were successful in 72 percent of the cases. While other directions were only successful in 18 percent of the cases. After some discussions with other scientists they developed the theory that it might be related to the earth’s magnetic field as other animals use it as well but usually for travelling and orientation. Therefore foxes are the first animals “known” be the using the earth’s magnetic field to measure distances.

I came across that while looking for a nice topic to write about for today. Bringing me to a lovely article which linked me to the article in the “New scientists” as well as a video from the discovery channel.