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Bluefin Tuna Born With Natural GPS?

Bluefin tuna are known to have magnetic particles in their bodies, which could explain how they are able to migrate long distances and return to their place of birth to spawn. The finding is based on new research that studied the route used by sockeye salmon to return to the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada. Scientists believe the magnetic particles act like a natural GPS system.

The study published this week in the journal Current Biology examined more than 50 years of fisheries data and found the salmon moved according to the natural shifts in the earth’s magnetic field. When the magnetic field shifted to the north, the fish swam by the north shore of Vancouver Island. When it shifted to the south, the fish swam by the south side.

The researchers believe the salmon “imprint” the magnetic field as they leave the river system and enter the ocean, which they can use to find their way home after traveling around the Pacific Ocean.