Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Celestial navigation in animals?
    From: Francis Upchurch
    Date: 2016 Dec 20, 10:42 -0800

    I suspect everyone is right here. It is probably unlikely that any known biological system could produce a "chronometer" capable of winning the longitude prize. I just wonder whether we are missing the point here and locking ourselves into "current knowledge, people think". 

    The fact is, many animals manage to navigate over thousands of miles to find the same nest/ birth river or whatever. They presumably do not use sextants, almanacs etc and obviously do not need to.They do what we would be love to achieve using all our gizmos and maths and hundreds of years of astronomy, by doing what they do, instinctively. But they do do it. (never underestimate the power of evolution over millions of years). We have a swallow family in its 4th successive year finding its old nest to the nearest inch in our roof, presumably after a long flight from Africa. Couldn't do that with my cel nav kit. Difficult even with GPS. Cruise missles often miss the target.

    So maybe we should  look more deeply (hopefully via ethically acceptable experiments) to learn a bit more from our animal cousins? 

    Meanwhile, what a great project for a young scientist. Moments like this, wish I was 24 again!

    I predict great progress in this field in the next decade.

    Best wishes

    Happy festivities


    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site