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Animal Senses Biology magnetoreception mechanism on Migratory Birds - Essay Example

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Your Name Animal Sense Date Magnetoreception Mechanisms on Migratory Birds The statement “I wish I could fly like birds” can be heard from many people, making flight both a blessing and an advantage for birds. This is most relevant to the migratory birds because they can fly towards various places as the seasons and their needs change…
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Animal Senses Biology magnetoreception mechanism on Migratory Birds
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Download file to see previous pages Birds have various times of migration. Some birds migrate during the day like swallows and crows, while some migrate at night such as warblers, cuckoos, wild fowls and woodpeckers, as well as most songbirds (Engels 1). Stimuli such as internal body clocks or subtle weather changes cause these birds to migrate, and this ability can be explained by a phenomenon called magnetoreception, which is the ability of some organisms to detect the Earth’s magnetic field in perceiving direction, altitude or location (Solov'yov 40). The Earth’s magnetic field can be detected through various mechanisms such as chemical, electrical and mechanical means, and any of these stimuli can be converted into a molecular signal like a light-stimulated or photochemical reaction in the retina, which can then be recognized and perceived by magnetoceptive organisms like birds and insects (41). Hypotheses in the mechanisms of magnetoreception in birds There are various mechanisms hypothesized for magnetoreception to occur in birds, and one of these is the phenomenon involving a chemical compass where chemical reactions occur involving the transitions of electrons between high and low energy configurations or spin states, influenced by the Earth’s magnetic field (Rodgers 353). ...
The amount of products from this reaction and the length of the half-life time of the radical base pair would depend on the strength of the detected magnetic field. The strength of the magnetic field determines the amount of radical base products and their length of half-life, and their linear relationship can be used to determine the strength of the magnetic field (Ritz 135; Rodgers 353). Thus, the stronger the magnetic field, the radical base pair mechanism would be producing more molecules with unpaired electrons, which in turn keeps the bird in its intended direction. These reactions occur in the photoreceptor region of the bird’s eye, helping the birds detect the strength of Earth’s magnetic field through radical base pair mechanism. The radical spinning is explained by hyperfine interactions, and these happen when there is a coupling between the magnetic moments of the unpaired electron and its atomic nucleus (Ritz 135). The interchanging conversions between the singlet state and the triplet state is a process whose frequency is determined by the strength of the hyperfine reactions. This system is not only influenced by the intensity but also by the direction of the field, which makes it act like a compass (136). The tendency of one component of hyperfine reaction to be strong towards one direction only determines the interchanging conversion rate of the S and T state. Thus the effects of the magnetic field would be depending on the direction of the magnetic field with respect to the alignment of the radical pairs. These are the mechanisms by which birds are able to travel at night. Photoreceptor mechanisms in birds Birds have two types of light receptors in their eye: night vision ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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