Intelligent Design

Bird navigation designed around smell?

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Sense of smell is key factor in bird navigation

researchers from the universities of Oxford, Barcelona and Pisa have shown in a new experiment that olfaction – or sense of smell – is almost certainly a key factor in long-distance oceanic navigation, eliminating previous misgivings about this hypothesis. . . .although the anosmic birds made successful trips to the Catalan coast and other distant foraging grounds, they showed significantly different orientation behaviour from the controls during the at-sea stage of their return journeys. Instead of being well-oriented towards home when they were out of sight of land, they embarked on curiously straight but poorly oriented flights across the ocean, as if following a compass bearing away from the foraging grounds without being able to update their position.

Their orientation then improved when approaching land, suggesting that birds must consult an olfactory map when out of sight of land but are subsequently able to find home using familiar landscape features.

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-08-29-sense-smell-key-factor-bird-navigation

4 Replies to “Bird navigation designed around smell?

  1. 1
    J-Mac says:

    Maybe smell is governed by quantum entanglement too? I wouldn’t be surprised…

    “As difficult as entanglement is to believe, as well as understand, it is a well established property of quantum mechanics. And some physicists are suggesting that birds and other animals might be using the effect to see and navigate Earth’s magnetic fields.

    The process could work via light-triggered interactions on a chemical in bird’s eyes.

    Light would excite two electrons on a molecule in the bird’s eye, switching one onto a second molecule, but the two would remain entangled even though they’re separated.

    The Earth’s magnetic field would alter the alignment of the electron’s spins and in the process alter the chemical properties of the molecules. Physicists suspect that the reactions would leave varying concentrations of chemicals throughout the eye, possibly creating a picture of our planet’s magnetic field that would allow birds to orient themselves.

    The theory is still in its infancy, but biophysicists already have their eyes on a few chemicals that might enable the birds to detect entanglement.
    One such chemical is called cryptochrome and its potential effects already being studied.

    It’s thought that that correlated pairs form in cryptochrome in the presence of blue light.

    A group of physicists from the University of California at Irvine also studied the European Robin’s ability to sense small quantum changes by tampering with the magnetic field surrounding the birds.

    A robin was placed in a cage during migration season and then the physicists switched the polarity of the magnetic field around it. The test indicated that changes on the level of one-thousandth the strength of Earth’s magnetic field would impact the birds’ abilities to orient themselves.

    Perhaps even more fascinating is that European Robins might do a better job of detecting quantum entanglement than physics labs currently can. A group of physicists from the University of Oxford have proposed that entanglement could last in a bird’s retina for 100 microseconds, whereas physicists have only been able to make the interaction last for 80 microseconds – despite cooling their experiments to just above absolute zero.

    The studies have implications beyond birds as well. A number of fish, reptiles, insects and even mammals are thought to use magnetic fields to navigate.”

    http://physicscentral.com/expl.....lement.cfm

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  3. 3

    I’ve had a keen interest in animal migration and navigation, and developed a paper in hopes of designing and developing a GPS-less navigation device. I passed this paper on to an old colleague who works in the DARPA world.

    George came back with good news and bad news. The good news was that this was a viable and solid project and worth pursuing. The bad news was that there are many projects underway around the world and within DARPA to accomplish such a goal.

    Alas — I had to cancel the contract for the mansion in the Bahamas and the yacht.

    But here is my paper:
    https://ayearningforpublius.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/gps-less-navigation-a-study-in-intelligent-design/

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    Tom Robbins says:

    smell has been shown to be quantum… https://neurophilosophy.wordpress.com/2006/12/12/the-quantum-mechanics-of-smell/ it was investigated as even though we have a limited number of receptors, we are able to recognize many more ordors than our “lock and key” sensors could possibly discriminate – it was found that the vibration at the atomic level of the molecule was key, and by its nature, quantum. Explain that one traditional evolutionist!!!

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