, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 528–530 | Cite as

Magnetic compass orientation in the subterranean rodentCryptomys hottentotus (Bathyergidae)

  • H. Burda
  • S. Marhold
  • T. Westenberger
  • R. Wiltschko
  • W. Wiltschko
Research Articles


To test whether mole-ratsCryptomys hottentotus were able to use the magnetic field for orientation, laboratory experiments were conducted which were based on the animals' spontaneous tendency to build their nests at the same position in a circular arena. In the local geomagnetic field, the animals preferred the SE-sector. When magnetic north was turned by 120o or by 180o, the mole-rats changed their nest position accordingly. This clearly shows that they can use the magnetic field for direction finding.

Key words

Magnetic compass orientation mole-rat Cryptomys subterranean rodents 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Burda
    • 1
  • S. Marhold
    • 1
  • T. Westenberger
    • 1
  • R. Wiltschko
    • 1
  • W. Wiltschko
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich Biologie der Universität, ZoologieFrankfurt a. M.Federal Republic of Germany

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