Researchers have long known that Marine species are sensitive to Electromagnetic fields and might use them for navigational purposes. The good news is that scientists have now found that Sharks use the magnetic field of the earth as a sort of natural GPS to navigate across long distances in the ocean.
The study published in the Journal Current Biology said that the findings shed light on how the marine creatures traversed across the oceans and managed to find their way.
The researchers led by Marine Specialist Bryan Keller did the study on 20 juvenile bonnet heads from Turkey Point Shoal off the coast of Florida, USA, in the Gulf of Mexico. Keller noted that their experiment showed that sharks used the Magnetic Field to help them find their way. The lead scientists also maintained that the scientific community had always baffled how the sharks managed to successfully migrate to targeted locations.
The scientists said that the Geo Magnetic Field (GMF) provided animals with both map and compass information. They said that the map allowed animals to garner spatial information relative to their location, while the compass allowed them to maintain a directed heading. These together facilitated the successful migrations toward targeted locations.
The scientists said that they conducted the study of each shark in three fields. First the field at the capture site as a control, Second, the field that exists ∼600 km south of the capture site within the Gulf of Mexico and finally a field that exists ∼600 km north of the capture within the continental United States.
Keller mentioned that the study could help in the proper management of shark species, which are in decline.