We present a novel laboratory activity to introduce students to experimental approaches often used by biologists to study orientation in animals. We first provide an overview of the current understanding of magnetoreception – the ability of some organisms to sense magnetic fields. We then outline an exercise that uses common pill bugs (Armadillidium vulgare) to examine whether a pulsed magnetic field affects their directional preference. The first part of the experiment includes the construction and visual testing of a pulse magnetizer built using low-cost and easily obtainable materials. Afterward, students examine the orientation of pill bugs both before and after being subjected to a magnetic pulse. Finally, students analyze their results with circular statistics using the open-source R coding platform, providing them experience in coding languages and statistical analysis. The interdisciplinary and biophysical nature of this experiment engages students in concepts of electromagnetic induction, magnetism, animal behavior, and statistics.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 80 • No. 8