Magnetic compass of birds is based on a molecule with optimal directional sensitivity.
The avian magnetic compass has been well characterized in behavioral tests: it is an "inclination compass" based on the inclination of the field lines rather than on the polarity, and its operation requires short-wavelength light. The "radical pair" model suggests that these properties reflect the use of specialized photopigments in the primary process of magnetoreception; it has recently been supported by experimental evidence indicating a role of magnetically sensitive radical-pair processe...Expand abstract
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