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Protein crucial for magnetic sense

The light-dependent magnetic compass of birds provides orientation information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina. In a recent study Atticus Pinzon-Rodriguez, Staffan Bensch and Rachel Muheim have studied different proteins in the eyes of zebra finches and discovered that one of them differs from the others: only the Cry4 protein maintains a constant level throughout the day and in different lighting conditions.
zebrafinches
Photo: Aron Hejdström

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden