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Sun-Compass Orientation in the Meadow Vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus

Sunny L. Fluharty, Douglas H. Taylor, Gary W. Barrett
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1379508 1-9 First published online: 27 February 1976


Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) utilized the sun for sun-compass orientation. Orientation was most predictable when food was utilized as a training goal. A delayed photoperiod shift altered orientation predictably in a clockwise direction. This orientation shift associated with the photoperiod change indicates an operative biological clock for sun-cued orientation. Also, females utilized this orientation mechanism predictably during homing studies; males responded nonpredictably. Reasons for this sexual difference are discussed.

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