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Researchers prove that dogs can sense Earth’s magnetic field

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Dogs have been proven to be sensitive to the magnetic field of the Earth for the first time by Dr. Vlastimil Hart from the Czech University of Life Sciences in the Czech
Republic and Professor Dr. Hynek Burda at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany in research that was published in the Jan. 3, 2014 edition of the journal Frontiers in Zoology.

The researchers examined the orientation of 70 dogs from different breeds in 7,000 instances of defecation and urination over two years. The observation of this common behavior in several species of animals was a part of a long-term study of the effect of the Earth’s magnetic field on animal behavior.

The researchers found that dogs, regardless of sex or breed, orient to the north to south axis of the Earth’s magnetic field during urination and defecation. The behavior was found to occur only during stable magnetic field activity and did not occur when the magnetic field fluctuated to a great degree.

The research is the first to prove that dogs are sensitive to the magnetic field of the Earth and respond to the Earth’s magnetic field by orienting their bodies to the magnetic field.

Dogs were found to be highly sensitive to minute changes in the magnetic field of the Earth. The magnetic field of the Earth is normally calm only about 20 percent of the time during daylight hours. The researchers offer this observation as the reason no research has previously been able to prove that dogs are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field.

The physiological cause of the behavior and the brain or body location that produces the behavior has not been found.

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