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Does fox use magnetic north to detect prey under three feet of snow?

Further to “What constitutes ‘woo’ (Rupert Sheldrake edition)”:

At one time, it was doubtless simple just to say, “It can’t really do that; that’s just an old-timers’ legend” or “Its hearing is really good; that’s all.” But catching it on film suggests another possibility…

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7 Responses to Does fox use magnetic north to detect prey under three feet of snow?

  1. :) , That was cool!

  2. Foxes, wolves and bears (which this yEC says are the same kind from pairs etc off the ark) use their powers of scent and hearing. its probably the smell and then mere listening that does it.
    No compass or GPS need be invoked.

  3. use their powers of scent and hearing. its probably the smell and then mere listening that does it.

    Cerveny and his team spent over two years studying wild red foxes. The team recorded almost 600 mousing jumps, performed by 84 foxes at a wide variety of locations and times.
    It was found that if the fox pounced to the north-east, they killed on 73% of their attacks; if they jumped in the opposite direction, they success rate stayed at 60%. In all other directions, only 18% of their pounces were successful.
    Hearing and scent doesn’t explain the results.

  4. here’s selva’s link:

    “Could the foxes be taking their direction from the environment? ?ervený thinks not. He found that the animals leapt in the same direction regardless of the time of day, season of year, cloud cover, or wind direction. ?ervený thinks that the only remaining explanation is that foxes align their pounces to the Earth’s magnetic field.”
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......poFbeL4Lms

  5. What some of us find really interesting is, why don’t they always pounce northeast? Do they fail to notice the pattern?

    Are there problems with realigning their direction (= the fox KNOWS he is much less likely to get his lunch while pouncing west. But he reckons that, if he moved first without pouncing, he would certainly lose the mouse, due to startling it back into a burrow. Now, he might be right or wrong about the overall catch rate, but most animals are very set in their ways when their dinner is the stake; they don’t run tests on the question. ;) )

  6. This YEC thinks bears are a created “kind” seperate from canines. Not sure why I felt the need to comment aside from pure contentiousness though! :-)

  7. SelvaRajan
    i will take them on.
    more likely they pounce forward on their legs and its unrelated to earth magnetic juice. I don’t have confidence in researchers who want and need to find a new cool thing.
    The dogs are just smelling and hearing their prey. Thats all. nothing to do with any jazz about magnets.
    Its as likely to say the prey is moving in a direction upon hearing the threat. They are influence by the magnetic goo and the foxes just follow them as they move.
    This is not so either.
    Who’s paying these people!!
    I would rather pay the foxes and for papers from them.

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