Orientation toward and away from shore (y-axis orientation) plays an important role in the daily and seasonal movements of amphibians. A variety of studies have shown that amphibians use both celestial cues and the geomagnetic field for y-axis orientation. However, few studies have addressed how quickly amphibians are able to learn the direction of a new shore. In the present laboratory-based experiments, we show that the Eastern Red-Spotted Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens, is able to learn the direction of the y-axis with respect to the geomagnetic field within 12–16 h. In conjunction with previous findings, our results suggest that the geomagnetic field is an important and readily used cue for orientation in amphibians.
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Vol. 2000 • No. 2