Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mousing in the Snow - Facing North Works Best

Field biologists studying mousing behavior of red foxes hunting in snow observed that if they are positioned in a northerly direction, they are successful about 72% if the time. In other positions they are mostly unsuccessful.

This suggests that foxes somehow use magnetic alignment to estimate distance in targeting prey under snow.


Watch this elegant footage of a fox mousing in the snow.


Scientists suspect foxes use information from earth's magnetic field as a range finder, somehow sensing magnetic northerly direction as a patch of dark or light.




Read more at nature.com

Read the scientific publication in the January 12, 2011 issue of Biology Letters.

2 comments:

  1. Great photos of the fox on the hunt. We see them on occasion but mostly when they cross the road, as we are driving. Usually we have a lot of coyotes out hunting in the fields, but havn't heard them this year.

    Debbie

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  2. Wow! Just awesome, clever, very clever, but then it IS as matter of survival!!!!

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