Friday, 16 January 2015

Sea Turtles Use Earth's Magnetic Field to Find Home

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | January 15, 2015 12:00pm ET

Female sea turtles, known to swim thousands of miles before returning to their birthplace to lay eggs, find their way home by relying on unique magnetic signatures along the coast, a new study finds.

For more than 50 years, scientists have been mystified by how sea turtles do this, said the study's lead researcher, J. Roger Brothers, a graduate student of biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Our results provide evidence that turtles imprint on the unique magnetic field of their natal beach as hatchlings, and then use this information to return as adults," Brothers said in a statement.

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