Further support for the alignment of cattle along magnetic field lines: reply to Hert et al.Report as inadecuate

Further support for the alignment of cattle along magnetic field lines: reply to Hert et al. - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 197, Issue 12, pp 1127–1133

First Online: 22 October 2011Received: 01 May 2011Revised: 09 August 2011Accepted: 11 August 2011


Hert et al. J Comp Physiol A, 2011 challenged one part of the study by Begall et al. PNAS 105:13451–13455, 2008 claiming that they could not replicate the finding of preferential magnetic alignment of cattle recorded in aerial images of Google Earth. However, Hert and co-authors used a different statistical approach and applied the statistics on a sample partly unsuitable to examine magnetic alignment. About 50% of their data represent noise resolution of the images is too poor to enable unambiguous measurement of the direction of body axes, pastures are on slopes, near settlements or high voltage power-lines, etc

Moreover, the authors have selected for their analysis only ~ 40% of cattle that were present on the pastures analyzed. Here, we reanalyze all usable data and show that cattle significantly align their body axes in North–South direction on pastures analyzed by Hert and co-authors. This finding thus supports our previous study. In addition, we show by using aerial Google Earth images with good resolution, that the magnetic alignment is more pronounced in resting than in standing cattle.

KeywordsCattle Magnetic alignment Magnetoreception Resting behavior Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1007-s00359-011-0674-1 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: S. Begall - H. Burda - J. Červený - O. Gerter - J. Neef-Weisse - P. Němec

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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