Captive bottlenose dolphins are quicker to explore a magnetized block than a demagnetized one, suggesting that the dolphins can detect magnetic fields, a new study shows. Past observations of wild dolphins, whales and porpoises had hinted that the animals are sensitive to magnetic fields and use the sensory perception for better navigation. The study provides the first experimental evidence linking the animals' magnetic sense to their behavior, the team writes September 30 in Naturwissenschaften – The Science of Nature.
Zoonosis -- transmission of infections from other vertebrates to humans -- causes regular and sometimes serious disease outbreaks. Bats are a well-known vertebrate reservoir of viruses like rabies and Ebola. Recent discovery of sequences in bats that are resemble influenza virus genes raised the question of whether bat flu viruses exist and could pose a threat to humans.