Manual Orientation and Navigation in Vertebrates

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  4. Orientation and navigation in vertebrates / Andrii Rozhok | Smithsonian Institution

The second part discusses possible functions of these mechanisms in different vertebrates and in the context of different navigational tasks, ranging from short-range navigation, often performed by animals within as small an area as several square meters, to long-distance global-scale migrations performed by many birds and some sea turtles during their lifespan.


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Read more Read less. K; ed. From the Back Cover This book reviews all major models and hypotheses concerning the mechanisms supposed to underlie the process of navigation in vertebrates. No customer reviews.

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Share your thoughts with other customers. The magnetic bearings of the fish should depend on the bleeding tank rather than the genetic background if it is driven by the social behaviour acquired in the tank. These results lead us to believe that preferred direction might be coded genetically, although we could not rule out other unknown factors.

Genetic programming of magnetic navigation systems has been reported in hatchling loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta , that need to be able to distinguish magnetic field direction in order to keep within their migratory route, even in territory previously unencountered Future studies should be undertaken to examine whether magnetic preference is also genetically encoded in zebrafish and to identify the gene s contributing to magnetoreception.

Wild zebrafish mainly inhabit the Ganges basin and can also be found in slow moving streams over the course of the year During rainy season, these areas are repeatedly exposed to heavy monsoon rains, and floodplains appear near the river delta.

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At the onset of rainy season, adult fish move into flooded areas such as rice paddies for spawning. There are less numbers of predators and abundant foods plankton in these seasonal waters, which serve as suitable environments for the development of larvae and juveniles. At the end of the rainy season, young zebrafish move back into the streams as the seasonal waters recede. Thus, zebrafish may migrate back and forth between streams and floodplains.

During this migration, since it would be difficult to use olfactory cues from events like the upstream-homing migration of salmon, they may depend on the local magnetic field. Sockeye salmon smolts , Oncorhynchus nerka , are known to use celestial and magnetic cues when moving downstream of the lake to the ocean The bimodal orientation might help zebrafish to swim for two opposite directions keeping a straight way and increase the efficiency of migrating back to the streams, because the streams and floodplains form irregular and complex patterns.

More simply, wild zebrafish may need to use the geomagnetic field for orientation during swimming since the overcast skies during rainy season may reduce the amount of polarized sunlight that passes underwater 22 or heavy rainfall may increase water turbidity and reduce the visibility of landmarks. Taking into account the environmental and ecological context of wild zebrafish, we can speculate over two possibilities: One is that the randomness of the preferred magnetic direction observed in this study may increase viability during the migration of wild zebrafish from seasonal waters back to the river streams, because the streams and receding waters are randomly distributed in flooded areas.

Another possibility is that the random magnetic direction may help zebrafish to survive against predators. If all fish in a group escape in the same direction, a predator can easily follow the group and have plenty of opportunities for capture. On the contrary, if individuals scatter separately, though it is unlikely in zebrafish 23 , each fish may lose recognition and pursuit by initial predators but may increase the chance of being preyed upon by another predator while swimming alone. Thus, the most efficient way to escape predators may be to swim away in two or a few different directions, clustering in a group large enough to be able to resist predators.

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The randomness of the two magnetic directions among independent groups Fig. In fish, the primary magnetoreceptor and magnetoreception systems require better characterization. Magnetite crystals have been found in fish bodies 24 , 25 , and multiple genes encoding cryptochromes have been identified in zebrafish in particular 26 , implying zebrafish may have two different mechanisms for magnetoreception. To remove the possibility of electromagnetic induction in our study, we created an artificial but static magnetic field similar in strength to the geomagnetic field so that we could isolate geomagnetic bearings in zebrafish.

In future study, zebrafish should be screened for mutants lacking magnetosensitivity, and with use of our more efficient and precise screening system, identification of not only the magnetoreceptor, but also its downstream signaling molecules may be possible. Male and female zebrafish Ekkwill strain; bred in-house, Table 1 were used as subjects. The fish were kept in transparent plastic tanks 6.

Orientation and Navigation in Vertebrates

The temperature of the circulating water was kept at All behavioural experiments were performed between and A tank containing a population of zebrafish was carried into the testing room. For each trial, one zebrafish was individually removed from the tank with a dip net and placed into the test arena Fig. After each trial, any visible materials were removed if there are materials floating or sinking in the arena.

Each fish's motion was recorded by a web camera model BSW13K05HWH, Buffalo located above the release device, and directional response was determined in a blinded fashion by the direction of the fish after first crossing over the 8. Fish are unable to see experimenters during trials. The magnetic field intensity, direction, and inclination of the test arena was measured using a 3-axis gaussmeter model FM, MTI.

The intensity and inclination of the environmental geomagnetic field in the laboratory was Each fish was examined only once.


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The preferred direction of each fish was normalized with respect to the direction of magnetic north and all circular statistics were calculated with Oriana 3. Mean vectors were calculated by vector addition and tested for significance using the Rayleigh test. Statistics for bimodal distributions were calculated by doubling each data value and reducing any value greater than using modulo arithmetic. The Watson's U 2 -test was used to test for significant differences between two distributions. Wiltschko, R.

Bioessays 28 , — Johnsen, S. The physics and neurobiology of magnetoreception.


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  • Lohmann, K. The neurobiology of magnetoreception in vertebrate animals. Trends Neurosci. Kirschvink, J. Biophysics of magnetic orientation: strengthening the interface between theory and experimental design. Interface 7 Suppl 2 , S— Winklhofer, M. A quantitative assessment of torque-transducer models for magnetoreception. Rodgers, C. Chemical magnetoreception in birds: the radical pair mechanism. Natl Acad. USA , — Ritz, T. Photoreceptor-based magnetoreception: optimal design of receptor molecules, cells, and neuronal processing.

    Two different types of light-dependent responses to magnetic fields in birds. Rozhok, A. Orientation and Navigation in Vertebrates. Springer Verlag, Nature , — Gegear, R. Animal cryptochromes mediate magnetoreception by an unconventional photochemical mechanism. Foley, L.

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    Orientation and navigation in vertebrates / Andrii Rozhok | Smithsonian Institution

    Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date. For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now. Javascript is not enabled in your browser. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser. This book reviews all major models and hypotheses concerning the mechanisms supposed to underlie the process of navigation in vertebrates. It covers data on all major model groups of vertebrates studied in the context of animal navigation, such as migratory birds, homing pigeons, sea turtles, subterranean mammals and some migratory fish species.