Magnetorecoreption in Animals: Chryptochrome By Catie 6S


Lets start out with the basics, magnetorecoreption is an ability some animals have that allows them to find there way around by using the earths magnetic fields. Magnetite is a is a highly magnetic mineral that may have something to do with magnetorecoreption, but most scientists believe it is something else. Chryptochromes (Cry1a) are proteins in some animals that have an effect on the vision of an animal allowing it to 'see' the earths magnetic fields. In the rest of my project I will go into more detail on the topics above.


Like I said above, Chryptochromes are proteins inside the eyes of certain animals. Although scientists strongly believe they magnetorecoreption in animals is due to levels of Cry1a it is still unclear. It could be anything but almost all the animals with magnetoreception, that we know of, have chryptochromes.

Animals and their magnetoreception


It is a known fact that birds migrate. But how do they find out north and south? Magnetoreception! They use magnetoreception to tell north from south and to stay in their groups to find their winter or summer locations. Chryptochromes are commonly found in birds which also supports the theory about chryptochromes.

Birds migrate, and we know that they have magnetoreception


All animals are prey or predators, sometimes even both. In amphibians, magnetoreception is used when in danger. It helps the amphibians get to the nearest shore and escape the danger they sense. Lets say you scare a salamander. They will use magnetoreception to find the nearest shore to get away as fast as possible.

Salamanders and frogs have magnetoreception so, when in danger, they can get to the nearest shore


Sharks and rays, like all animals, will need food. So, they use a sixth sense to help find prey. They also need to find their way through the oceans and seas, since they have no maps. There was a shark named Nicole who changed shark history by being the first shark to be tracked from South Africa to Australia. To find her way she had to have used magnetoreception.

Elasmobranchs (Sharks and Rays) can use a sixth sense of magnetoreception to find their prey


  • Chong, Lisa D. "Animal Magnetoreception." Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 11 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
  • Borneman, Elizabeth. "Animal Navigation Through Magnetoception." Geolounge. N.p., 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.
  • "The Sixth (and Seventh) Sense." Shark Savers :: The Sixth (and Seventh) Sense. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.
  • "The Magnetic Sense of Animals." Theoretical Biophysics Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.


Created with images by Unsplash - "flock birds swarm" • mihajov - "birds nature migration" • mucorales - "fire salamander salamander animal" • Derek Keats - "Puffadder shyshark"

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