Geomagnetic sensitivity is present in a variety of vertebrates, but only recently has attention focused on subterranean mammals. We report the potential use of a magnetic compass in wild Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis) during dispersal at two sites in the Kalahari region of South Africa. When the distance traveled was greater than 250 m, males and females dispersed in opposite directions and females preferentially chose a predominantly northeastern direction. This directional choice likely is due to the differing dispersal tactics between sexes. This evidence suggests that Damaraland mole-rats employ a magnetic compass during aboveground dispersal to assist in locating mates or a new territory. This study provides evidence to show how magnetic compass use could be useful in dispersal, an important ecological process for mammals.
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. 102 • No. 1