Finding Their Way: How Migratory Creatures Get Where They’re Going

WED, APR 20, 2022 (30:03)

Migratory birds and other such creatures can navigate vast distances to annual retreats and nesting sites because they are endowed with magnetoreception.

Dr. Walcott explains the biological adaptations that enable the connection to Earth’s magnetic field. He describes his pioneering work on the homing pigeon, one of the major sources of evidence for magnetoreception.

Dr. Walcott also discusses some other interesting sensory mechanisms, such as spiders that “hear” with their legs.


+ BIO: Charles Walcott, PhD.

Charles Walcott joined Cornell University as Director of the Laboratory of Ornithology in 1981. Later, he became Director of the Division of Biological Science, Associate and then Dean of the University Faculty, then University Ombudsman.

Until his retirement, his research and teaching covered a wide range of brain and sensory capacities in animals and humans. He has received numerous awards for his research. Dr. Walcott also served as Associate Producer of “Discovery” a program on natural history for children and the first nationally syndicated programs from WGBH in Boston.

He was involved with NOVA and served two years as Content Director for 3 2 1 Contact produced by Children’s Television Workshop. He was also the founder of the Elementary Science Study and was its director for two years.

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