Hamsters sense their destiny
Thursday 12 November 1998
A scientific investigation of how golden hamsters remember where they have come from has revealed that they use a system of dead reckoning similar to the way mariners used to sail in unchartered seas.
An experiment where hamsters were trained to find a source of food in the pitch-dark has shown that they have an innate sense of direction which gives them a good idea of where they are in relation to where they want to be.
Ariane Etienne, professor of ethology at the University of Geneva, said in the journal Nature that the rodents can find their way around in the complete absence of landmarks by computing their position using internal cues, such as how fast they are travelling and for how long. "Experiments showed their navigation skills are more sophisticated than we supposed. Not only can they identify their point of departure, they can use their internal navigation to go directly to food."
Like humans, some hamsters are better than others at dead reckoning.
- 2 Edward Heath 'child sex abuse' allegation: Investigation to be held into Wiltshire police handling of alleged claim in the 1990s
- 3 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 4 A-level results 2015: UK exam board OCR admits it 'estimates' hundreds of pupils' grades after papers 'go missing'
- 5 Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks busy Dublin road
Sabrina Corgatelli: US hunting tourist posts picture of herself with dead giraffe after Cecil the lion outrage
'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Tom Cruise: Reporters banned from asking actor about Scientology
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45000: SThree: SThree Group have been well es...
£20k plus sales linked bonus. : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Copywriter to j...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has bec...