Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 157, Issue 3, pp 375–381 | Cite as

Chains of single-domain magnetite particles in chinook salmon,Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

  • J. L. Kirschvink
  • M. M. Walker
  • S. -B. Chang
  • A. E. Dizon
  • K. A. Peterson


Although the presence of magnetite in their tissues is correlated with the ability of different species to detect magnetic fields, proof that the magnetite is involved in magnetoreception has not yet been provided. Using the approach employed to localize and isolate magnetic particles in the yellowfin tuna, we found that single-domain magnetite occurs in chains of particles in tissue contained within the dermethmoid cartilage of adult chinook salmon,Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. The particles are present in sufficient numbers to provide the adult fish with a very sensitive magnetoreceptor system. Magnetite in the chinook can be correlated with responses to magnetic fields in a congeneric species, the sockeye salmon. Based on the presence of the chains of particles, we propose behavioral experiments that exploit the responses of sockeye salmon fry to magnetic fields to test explicit predictions of the ferromagnetic magnetoreception hypothesis.


Magnetic Field Magnetite Magnetic Particle Chinook Salmon Behavioral Experiment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Kirschvink
    • 1
  • M. M. Walker
    • 2
  • S. -B. Chang
    • 1
  • A. E. Dizon
    • 3
  • K. A. Peterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Geological and Planetary SciencesCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Southwest Fisheries Center Honolulu LaboratoryNational Marine Fisheries Service, NOAAHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Southwest Fisheries Center La Jolla LaboratoryNational Marine Fisheries Service, NOAALa JollaUSA

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