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Mötesplats Rydberg: Erik Warrant "How the stars and the Earth’s magnetic field guide the long migratory journey of an Australian moth"

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 from to (Europe/Stockholm)
at Fysiska institutionen-Physics Department ( 1-4-Rydbergsalen - Rydbergsalen )

Nocturnal migratory birds are famous for their remarkable ability to migrate many thousands of kilometres, from one specific place on the surface of the earth to another. In recent years, researchers have discovered that migratory birds steer their journey in the right direction with the help of an (as yet unknown) magnetic sense which utilizes the earth’s magnetic field as a compass. Moreover, researchers have also discovered that these birds have the possibility to use the starry sky as an additional compass. We have now recently discovered a migratory moth in Australia - the nocturnal Bogong moth Agrotis infusa - which has exactly the same ability, despite possessing extremely small eyes and a brain smaller than a grain of rice. During my presentation I will describe the Bogong moth’s natural history, how we made our discoveries of its remarkable navigational abilities and which consequences these discoveries have for solving Sensory Biology’s last great mystery - where and how in the nervous system of animals is the magnetic field of the earth detected and transduced?