Fish Ride the Earths Magnetic Waves
It has been recently discovered that Trout use magnetic cells in their nose to navigate. Toes on the noes! These cells sense the earths magnetic field and enable the animals to find their way even without light or guidance. For migratory animals this 6th sense is essential in orienting themselves, and travelling in the right direction at the right time.
For the first time scientists were able to isolate entire magnetic cells from the nose of the trout to further their understanding of the cells’ capabilities. Scientists believe that magnetic cells excite membranes in neurons that trigger direction-related impulses and are sent to the brain. More research will be done to learn the genes and proteins responsible for these cells and how they might one day be used as miniature GPS systems for blind people.
”This may sound far out here”, Said J. David Dickman, a neuroscientist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. ”But we’re contemplating taking cells that are not normally magnetically sensitive and creating cells that are magnetically sensitive. You could put them in the brain or body and turn them on or off with magnetic fields of certain wavelengths or frequencies to give balance or hearing back to the ear or smalls back to the nose” (Discovery News)
This is a very exciting discovery that has increased our understanding of the sensory capabilities of other creatures, in addition to possibly enhancing human sensory experience. Not only are marine researchers gaining a greater understanding of known species, but also searching for and finding new species of fish! There were recently 25 new species of fish found in Indonesia. Check out some of these beautiful aquatic creatures.