Monday, August 25, 2008

Animal Magnetism and Google Earth

I heard this on NPR's All Things Considered tonight. A new study looks at how cows align their bodies while resting. The researchers claim that the cows invariably align with their spines pointing north-south, like pieces of magnetite in a cooling basalt flow! The best part of this study is that the researchers used Google Earth to map the cows. Hurray for low cost research projects.

Says Richard Holland, a biologist with the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, "It's a very clever use of Google Earth, and the evidence is quite compelling. It does seem that these animals are detecting the Earth's magnetic field and using it to point in a north-south direction."

Google's Lat Long blog has something to say about this research too.

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