Scientific breakthrough: naked mole rats sense magnetic fields with their eyes

To date, it has been established that several species of living beings on our planet feel the change in magnetic fields and use this for their own purposes. Moreover, it has been proven that evolutionarily they adapted precisely to the Earth's magnetic field, and ignore electromagnetic radiation. How exactly this mechanism is implemented at the biological level in individual animals remained a mystery until recently.

Scientists from the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) chose the naked mole rat Ansell, a strange underground creature that uses its primitive eyes only to distinguish light from darkness. These are very social animals that build branched tunnels underground and can even merge their nests with those of their neighbors. And they always make a sleeping chamber strictly in the southeastern part of the den, guided by the planet's magnetic field.

Initially, in their experiments, scientists temporarily blinded naked mole rats with anesthesia and they ceased to feel the magnetic field. To confirm the theory, several individuals were subjected to enucleation, their eyes were surgically removed. Over the past year and a half, observers have seen how these individuals played successfully, fed and mated with the rest, they led a full life. In addition to one factor - with an artificial change in the magnetic field in the terrarium area, blind individuals lost the ability to find the cherished southeast corner.

As a result, scientists came to the conclusion that it is the eyes that give the naked mole rats the ability to magnetic perception. The desired organ with magnetic receptors is their eyes! For the first time in history, scientists have a specific organ for studying magnetic sensitivity using electron microscopy and spectroscopy. The discovery has great prospects, research in this area will continue.