01/16/2015

Sea Turtles Guided Home by Magnetic Sense

9:02 minutes

Sea turtles can swim from their home beach in North America to the coasts of Africa during a migration. And yet when it’s time to lay their eggs, females tend to return to the same coastlines where they themselves hatched. Now researchers say that the turtles appear to navigate to their preferred nesting spots using the earth’s magnetic fields as a guide. Roger Brothers, lead author on a paper about the phenomenon in Current Biology, explains.

Segment Guests

Roger Brothers

Roger Brothers is a Ph.D. student in the biology department at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.

Explore More