Behavior and orientation of animals

Since ancient times, people are concerned about an amazing ability of animals to find their way unerringly to his "home" in a special way to see and hear and navigate in a very long journey, identify obstacles and find food.

Study human animals covers a wide range of navigation problems – from simple chemical perceptions to such sophisticated tools as natural sonar, radar, polaroids, solar compass, "physiological clock" intricate "dance" communication methods, open in bees.

From bats to fish, from fish to dolphins, insects, birds, rats, monkeys and snakes crossing the experimenters with their research instruments throughout detecting the presence of the amazing, unknown before the senses.

Observations suggest that in plants and animals, and humans in the body is cyclical physiological processes, coinciding in time with the movement of the sun across the sky. In other words, there is a "physiological clock". Living organisms are capable of measuring time, resulting in periodic changes in respiration, body temperature, growth, etc. All of these processes should be examined.

People in the last century have noticed that at certain times of day plants emit spores rapidly growing, open and close the flowers as they know, says one scientist, just a few hours the sun goes down or comes up. If the flowers are to be moved to a room in which there is no light, they still will unfold in due time.

The whole life of the birds, fish, animals, insects, worms, at different times of the day takes place in different ways: in some time they sleep, search for food, sing, dig holes, go to water, and so from day to day.

Each of us knows from experience that without an alarm clock to wake up whenever he wants. You need only a small effort of will to put on a certain hour his "head watches", so called scholars this yet unknown physiological mechanism.

A huge number of amazing abilities of animals shows that people can learn from nature.

In one of the first verses of the oldest on earth poems scrawled on clay tablets, according to the testing of navigational abilities of birds, "… gone, dove back back" *. Five thousand years ago, people knew that the pigeons and swallows perfectly able to navigate and always find their "home". But how do they find it is not known so far.

Soon the birds began to teach simple science postman. In the Pacific Islands are trained for this purpose frigates bolshekrylyh seabirds great flyers. Pigeons are more suitable for postal services. Carrier pigeon has a venerable history. And in our time, in spite of the improved means of communication, millions of pigeons are the postal service. In England alone more than a million of these pigeons.

Pigeons and other birds can easily find their way, even if they take him to the country, it is unfamiliar to them. Sometimes all the way to their airplay on gramophone disc or transported under anesthesia to prevent the birds ability to memorize mechanically turns transport that they are delivered. But the birds and the anesthesia and phonograph carousel navigate the unfamiliar world.

Complex behavior of birds in flight is studied by man for many years by the mass ringing. Flight associated with certain terms, ways flight formation flying and orientation in unfamiliar territory.

The ability to quickly and correctly is much better developed orientation in migratory birds than sedentary (sparrows, crows).

The ability for targeting the crow and house sparrow twice weaker than the rook and field sparrow. This is due to the fact that the rook is a bird of passage, apparently innate ability to orienteering. Field sparrow though not related to migratory birds, but it has still greater tendency to migrations than the house sparrow, and so the best targets.

Numerous data indicate that the orientation of birds in relation to the jack is in large part through their vision and visual memory.

Note, however, that the ability of birds to navigate is very important nesting instinct strongly expressed.

Once ornithologists to determine strength, endurance and ability to navigate albatross, conducted an experiment. They banded albatross flown to various Pacific islands. Then the birds were released and rushed to the left jacks in their homeland, to attolu Midway (Hawaii). After 32-days, flying 6630 miles, many albatrosses returned home.

We still have not understood the whole complex system of coordinating the actions of individual senses of birds, but to recognize their exceptional powers of observation, combined with the ability to visually remember the situation, expanding it to a number of minute details that escape from the man, and therefore incomprehensible to him.

Wryneck once caught on the nest in the botanical garden in Berlin. They put on the foot ring and took a plane to Thessaloniki for 1600 km. After 10 days it again "spit neck" from its nest in Berlin.

Nightingale came back from Africa, finds our vast forests bush cherry, which he sang last spring serenade.

Two seabirds – gannets English – caught on the bank Wells (they nest here, and winter fly to South America) and sent by plane to

Boston, on the other side of the Atlantic, with 5.5 thousand km of the nest.

Soon one of the birds (the second died during transport) down heavily near their nests near the ornithological station in Wales. She flew over the ocean and found a small rock a huge island in the nest 12.5 days after launch on American soil. Ship with mail, notifies that the bird is released, late for 10 hours.

Many well-flying birds have the ability to skillfully navigate and in enclosed spaces. For example, the swallows and swifts often fly into a deep and completely dark caves, where however skillfully guided.

In South America, live poultry, which the locals call gvacharo. It lives in a dark cave. Flying in the dark, gvacharo periodically issues are sharp and abrupt high-pitched cries of a frequency of about 7000 Hz. After each shout bird catches the reflection of the obstacles. In the direction from which the echo comes, the bird learns that where there is an obstacle, and the time elapsed between the sending of the signal and the return of its reflection, the distance to the obstacle. Thus, gvacharo guided echo, well-versed in the dark.

A closer examination of the migration noticed that affect the flight of birds "astronomical situation." It is possible to establish a planetarium, where the appearance of motion of stars and observations were made for night flying robins. The fact that some of the birds in flight are guided by the stars can be explained by the fact that at night they fly above the clouds at high altitude.

Found that radio waves * emitted by the transmitters radar and communication stations, preventing "instrument" orientation of birds in flight to function. One can assume that the navigation system of birds is based on electromagnetic waves.

Done a lot of experiments with a variety of birds: terns, gulls, starlings, coots, redstart, shrikes, hawks, ducks, storks, etc.

How do birds orient?

Science has already rejected a number of hypotheses to explain this fascinating mysteries of nature. Recently, Dr. Kramer spent his experiments, which are likely to help you find the right way to guide the research abilities of birds.

Around the cell was attached to 12 feeders of identical and equidistant from one another. Starlings were fed only in one of these feeders. They soon got used to it and correctly found, although it was not different from the other 11.

The only index by which it could find, had the sun, or rather, the position of the trough with respect to the Sun. When windows are darkened, starlings helplessly rushing from one bowl to another. If using mirrors to change the angle between the trough and the direction of the sun, starlings flew to other feeder that is separated from the first by exactly the same angle.

The experiments were repeated, replacing Sun powerful lamp equipped with a reflector, which travel along the rail is attached to the ceiling rail. The results were the same. The conclusion from this discovery was unexpected: ptip have a sense of time.

The experiments were done and the pigeons, and with Slavko, and shrikes, clearly show that they have the sun – the main landmark. But this guide is not standing still. Find your way around it can not, if you do not know in what part of the sky at any time of day it is. Then the birds come to the rescue, and a good memory "clock" with which nature has endowed all living things on earth.

"It's amazing, – says Dr. Matthews, one of the leading experts in science, guidance to the birds – that people, for centuries to determine its location on the sun, just a few years ago found that the birds do the same.

Now there is no doubt that birds, like humans, find their way to the sun … New studies will soon show whether this is so. "

But a lot of the birds' behavior remains unknown. For example, it is noted that the nest drozdovidnoy warbler is always located at a height such that even during the highest flood water does not rise to it. Sometimes warbler nests higher than the previous year, and it turns out that this year the water rose so high that it flooded the nest would be if it was on the same height. Perhaps this bird anticipates flooding on the basis of any natural phenomena known to her prior to this flooding.

Insects produce sound waves his wings, making them a great number of strokes per second. Large insects such as bumble bee or hornet make hundreds of strokes per second and emit a buzz in the air quite a low tone. Squeak mosquito is at the limit of frequencies perceived by man, reaching 15 000-16 000 Hz. Flight more bugs seems silent, but it is clear that we just do not hear as high sounds which give rise to their wings.

The two rear wings appendage Diptera shaped mace, connected with the body of a thin stem, are halteres that vibrate continuously in flight. The outer end of each of them moves along an arc path. The tendency to a movement preserved when changing the direction of flight. This creates tension stalk on which the insect brain determines the change direction and instructs the muscles that controls the movement of the wings.

Perfectly adapted to guide the Sun compound eye of insects. It consists of a number of sectors, each of which receives the rays coming only parallel to its axis. The rays of the same incident angle, absorbed svetoizolyatsiey. To move in a straight line insect enough to save the image of the sun in one of the sectors.

Wolf spiders live in rivers and lakes. If the spider into the water, it will float to the shore, where it was caught. Float right, no matter how far have brought him. What native shore, and what strange spider learned in the Sun. Researchers have proved it, distorting the position of the sun with a mirror and putting the spider to the same tests as the starlings.

Coastal fleas sandhoppers, jumping on the sea beach, also find their home in the Sun.

These crustaceans are fond of traveling, they are not just found on the ground away from the sea.

In marine flea navigational abilities developed fine. The laboratories are not worse starlings were able find by the sun in the right direction. They are always drawn to the sea, and, no matter where you released the sand horses, they rushed the shortest road to it. It is in their homeland, Italy.

When sand horses brought to Argentina, they could not find the sea: they were "chronometer" worked more European time, without regard to the local sun and only confuse the crustaceans.

Experiments with crayfish, crabs, spiders, grasshoppers and other arthropods also confirmed the theory of solar navigation.

Up until now, we still have a terrific mystery of some species of butterflies find each other at a distance of 8-11 km. American scientists decided to find out how the male butterfly "small night peacock" seek out female at 10 km. It was decided to enter into a female under glass. Moth males still flew to the female. Did nothing for the female and placing a metal grid. Only the screen, do not miss the infrared rays, as if completely isolated butterflies sexes apart. Scientists have concluded that they have a "locator infrared rays." Further research is clearly clarify this initial conclusion.

Quoted in the book by Solomon's seal Girard writes about dark brown termites:

"It is interesting to see the precision with which termites build their own gallery in the opaque medium to penetrate the identified items. They get into the furniture from the lower end of the legs and never wrong about the width of the legs: they eat through the floor just under the foot, and not in any other place. Chestnuts lying separately on the shelves in the fruit shops, were eaten, and under each was only a small hole. "

American physiologists T. Bullock and R. Kauls in 1952 anesthetized snakes introducing a certain dose of the poison curare. Cleared of muscle and other tissues is one of the nerves branching holes in the membrane of the face, took him outside and squeezed between contacts instrument measuring action currents. Then the facial pits were exposed to various influences: they are covered with light (without infrared rays), a tray close strong-smelling substances irritating strong sound, vibration, tweaks. Nerve does not respond – Biopotential not arise.

But it was enough to bring the snake head a hot item, even just a human arm (30 cm). as occurred in the nerve stimulation – the device recorded the action currents. Covered pit infrared – nerve excited even more. The bodies were found in termolokatsii pythons and boas (in the form of small pits on the lips). Small holes are located above the nostrils from the American, Persian, and some other species of vipers, are, obviously, for the same purpose.

By type of jellyfish Soviet scientists built a device that predicts the approach of a storm. It turns out that even such a simple marine animals hear infrasound inaccessible to man arising from the friction of the air waves.

Do jellyfish have a stem ending in a ball with a liquid in which the stones are floating, based on the end of the nerve. The first sees the "voice" storm flask filled with liquid, then through the pebbles that voice is transmitted nerves.

The device, which mimics the hearing organ jellyfish has a horn resonator transmits vibrations desired frequency piezoelectric transducer, which converts these vibrations into pulses of electric current. Further, these pulses are amplified and measured. This device allows you to define an offensive storm for 15 hours.

Fish emit various sounds, the "hits" special muscles to swim bladder, as the drums, while others grind their teeth, click the backbone of his armor. Many of these sounds are in the ultrashort range and are used, obviously, for echolocation and orientation in space.

Currently there are more than 100 species of fish that can generate electricity with very high potential difference. Thus, the electric ray can create stress to 70. Electric catfish according to irritation can cause stress in the 80-100 or more, and the electric eel – from 300 to 500. These fish are found mainly in tropical seas.

In tropical rivers mormirus live small fish, which in search of food all the time digging in the mud. Although her head while out in the mud, the fish feels velikoleppo approach of the enemy. Recently, scientists have found out that mormirusa have your radar: the tail – the generator of electrical oscillations, which gives up to 100 ppm, and in the dorsal fin – the receiver of reflected radio waves.

In Japan, where earthquakes occur frequently, it was discovered that a small white fish for a few hours before the earthquake in the tank starts to rush from one side to another. She has an amazing ability to perceive minute oscillations of the earth's crust, and is rightly called the "fish-seismograph." The Ministry of Agriculture of Japan called upon the population of areas where earthquakes are particularly common breed of white fish – the precursors of the disaster.

With full confidence in impenetrable darkness, surprisingly easily avoiding all obstacles along the way, makes the flights bat. The riddle of its flight recently explained on the basis of special experiments. It turned out that a bat in flight all the time emits a kind of squeak, the frequency of sound waves is approximately equal to 50 thousand cycles per second, and catches his reflection from obstructions large ears. This phenomenon is used as the basis of radar (Fig. 79).

Hearing of a bat can perceive high frequency vibrations, so she can hear what you do not hear man.

Amazing ability orient the dog and the horse. They always bring you back home, especially in winter on the road or at night when the horse with the reins is not recommended, not to knock it off the right way.


Elephants have excellent sense of smell. This gives them the ability to perceive odors from up to 5 km. There was another hunter, who could quietly get close to the elephant to windward. It is no accident trunk is considered the best in the world of machine olfaction.

Extremely sensitive organ of touch elephants, like many other animals, are bristly hair – whiskers. Thanks to them, the elephants superbly guided night with a trunk, which is lowered to the ground by looking at it. In this case, the elephant is not lagging, feeling insecure land legs, and deftly and quickly bypass all the obstacles and confidently pass them on their way.

In life, there are also times when the animals are oriented correctly. The biggest fan of honey glorified bear. He finds a bee nest is not so much the smell of honey, how to sound, to the buzzing of bees in the hollow. Therefore crawlers lines laid across the deaf forest areas, sometimes ever seen on telegraph poles bear, deceived buzzing wires.

Comparing management systems in living organisms and machines, scientists were forced to more closely analyze the essence of the original "instruments" in which animals and plants perceive, process, transmit the information. This can be very important for the development and improvement of many new branches of communication equipment, radar, automatic, infrared equipment, etc. As a result, a new napravlenpe science dealing with the study of biological processes and apparatus of living organisms, leading to new opportunities for solving engineering and technical problems, called bionics.

Analysis of the behavior and orientation of organisms involved in biological bionics. She has been actively studying the properties of the senses – the eyes and ears, the elements of the nervous system, the ability of animals to orient themselves in the environment, to communicate, move, etc.

"In the field of bionics nature keeps until unshakable superiority over creation of human hands. The most advanced electronic computers is far from opportunities that have the human brain.

Among the biological processes is particularly interested in the creation of scientific nature of microscopically small, but extremely sophisticated and sensitive perceiving elements.

It is believed that future devices that simulate the nervous system, may contribute to the creation of unmanned spacecraft to explore planets in the solar system without the remote control from the ground.

In the area of mathematics being bionic research and study "antenna" butterflies, migratory behavior of pigeons, the relationship of the fish, the use of smell for orientation in aquatic animals, the analysis of waves in the ear, eye frog, horseshoe crabs, insects, nature of eye movements, eye overview of space and more more.

Huge interest is that some fish are very sensitive to the smell. One can detect the presence of odorous substances, even if per liter of solution it contains only 10-14 g

The Mystery of the microscopic structure receiver ultrasonic open to a moth, for which hunting bats. This receiver that accepts the frequency from 10 to 100 kHz allows you to detect enemy moles on her radar radiation at a distance of 30 m

Horseshoe crab eyes have the ability to enhance the contrast of images of visible objects. This property crab eyes to use to facilitate the analysis of television images and aerial photographs, photographs of the moon, etc. "

Dolphins have a sonar device, superior accuracy and range of the existing sonar. It allows you to detect and distinguish the dolphin fish stocks at 3 km. Dolphins emit sounds of different body parts in the range of 750 to 300 thousand cycles and respond to sounds up to 80 thousand hertz. Here, as in many other cases, people will still "catching up" nature.

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