MIGRATION AND NAVIGATION



Among the most intriguing aspects of animal behavior and perception is the tendency to migrate long distances, coupled with the navigational ability that makes this possible. Most such migration is seasonal, a primary example being birds' proverbial flight south for the winter. Sometimes, however, animals widely separated from their home environments nonetheless manage to find their way home. This fact has long fascinated humans, as reflected in a number of true and fictional stories on the subject that have circulated over the years. For example, The Incredible Journey, a 1963 Disney film remade in 1993, is a fictional tale, but there are numerous true stories of dogs and cats making their way home to their masters across thousands of miles. How do animals do this? Scientists do not fully understand the answers, but theories regarding animal navigation abound. In any case, there is no question that animals possess navigational abilities unavailable to humans, for example, echolocation, used by bats, whales, and dolphins for local navigation, requires an ability to hear sounds far beyond the range of the human ear.

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