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Old December 20, 2013, 09:48 PM   #26
big al hunter
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According to the video, the fox uses the magnetic field not to hone in on the mouse, but to plot the distance and his trajectory to hit the spot that his hearing and sight have already established.
I had to go back and watch the video again. And.... Your right!!!! The scientist said that the fox is doing complex math to calculate trajectory. BUT, it only works when facing north.

Really??? Why can the fox do math facing north but not south. Did he forget how? The statement in the video makes no sense to me.
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Old December 20, 2013, 09:51 PM   #27
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Heh. The last fox that I was really close to, I boinked his nose with my boot toe. His nose reappeared through his anus as he practiced being elsewhere with extreme rapidity. A rapidly disappearing four-legged bottle-brush.

(Lip-squeaking like unto a little mousie can cause a lack of caution.)
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Old December 20, 2013, 11:49 PM   #28
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Big Al, did you bother to do any research into this or did you just watch that video and start crying "BS"? From your posts, I'm sure I know the answer to that.


http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.o...2010.1145.full
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Old December 21, 2013, 02:48 AM   #29
Pond, James Pond
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Nature is generally very consistent. Creatures that use magnetic fields for guidance use it equally well traveling North or south. It would be inconsistent of nature to not give the fox the same ability facing North or South.
If the fox was using his ears as his only guidance system his success would be consistent in any direction. That leaves vision as the major influencing factor.
Key word highlighted: Nature is generally very consistent.

With that you entertain the possibility that the fox does not fit the norm as we know today.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that there is at least a link between his ears and the magnetic fields of our planet that might not include the eyes.

Your assumption that the eyes are automatically involved is not supported in this case. It may well be natures norm to hunt with the eyes, but then it is natures norm that the prey be within line of sight: not so under snow....

I think Willie Lowman's link carries convincing weight.
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Old December 21, 2013, 02:52 AM   #30
big al hunter
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Thank you Willie, that was a good read. I learned something today. I must note that in the text you linked there is a reference to a cluster of successful attacks to the south. The video did not say that. And yes I just watched the video and called B.S. With the explanation given it makes more sense than "the fox is more accurate when facing North". It is my nature to doubt that which is incomplete. Especially when it has contradictory evidence as part of its presentation. Rarely is it necessary for me to do it but this time I must open mouth, insert foot.
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Old December 21, 2013, 09:04 AM   #31
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Amusing little animal in this behavior. Determined little fellow. No doubt about that. When snowmobiling across my fields sometimes I would come across Mr. Slinky's tracks. I always wanted to observe a fox doing this in our 2-1/2' high snow. {Tracks a hole some more tracks another deeper hole.} On & on till he caught something. Do coyote's catch their mice in the same manner? Anyway now I seen it all. I'm still here. __Thanks for the posting Sir.
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Old December 21, 2013, 10:57 AM   #32
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by big al hunter:

I had to go back and watch the video again. And.... Your right!!!! The scientist said that the fox is doing complex math to calculate trajectory. BUT, it only works when facing north.

Really??? Why can the fox do math facing north but not south. Did he forget how? The statement in the video makes no sense to me.
My grandpa always told me when I was young, that real men aren't ashamed to admit when they are wrong. Iffin he was still around you would've gained his respect.

I actually figured your reply would have still been about the influence of the glare affecting the hunt. I expected a statement that since the fox was continuously avoiding the glare, he would be hunting facing north the majority of the time. Since the prevailing winds at that latitude are from the west, the fox would have much more experience adjusting for them affecting his trajectory and thus his success rate would be higher when all those conditions were the same.

One must remember that part of the trajectory is thru 3 feet of snow. The arc of the foxes jump does not stop at the surface of the snow. The fox does not know exactly how deep the snow is at that spot........this is where I believe the magnetic field has an influence. It tells the fox how far the ground(and the mouse) is below the surface of the snow, and thus he can adjust his trajectory accordingly. I doubt very much if the fox knows how this works or even if it's aware it's doing it. I'm sure it's a skill/instinct that has evolved because those most successful doing it tend to live and breed. We as humans may use it or something similar also and just don't realize it. Or we may have lost it thru evolution because we didn't use it. One interesting theory I heard a while back had to do with why human senses are so limited compared to wild animals. Has to do with looks. We as humans many times pick our partner by the way they look. Because of this, attractive people get more attention and interest by others as potential mates. Thus attractive people tend to mate more often and at an earlier age. Big ears, big noses and big eyes with predominate overbrow giving protection from the sun/glare are features that give support to the senses. They are also features that most humans find unattractive. Thus over the ions, those traits have been lost thru evolution.
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Old December 21, 2013, 11:00 AM   #33
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Lotsa critter research in the effort to figure out, "How do they do that?"

Last night on TV, there was a segment about polar bears. They can smell a seal under four feet of snow, from over a hundred yards of distance. The camera followed the bear for well over a hundred yards as it finally went to sneak-mode and then rapidly dug down and grabbed the seal.
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Old December 21, 2013, 03:36 PM   #34
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After reading that the foxes had a sizable advantage southbound as well as North I had to concede. That was the major reason I was doubting the theory. When your wrong your wrong. Learn from it. My dad was big on honesty, so am I. Only a coward won't admit when they are wrong.

Animals have some amazing abilities. Watching them use those abilities is part of the hunting experience that I enjoy, almost as much as eating an elk steak.
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Old December 21, 2013, 09:57 PM   #35
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Opportunists, also. I was dragging a shredder around a dead-grass/weed area one afternoon and after some five or so acres I paused for a moment to just look around.

I saw that several hawks were perched in trees around me, and there were a couple of foxes in the mowed area.

Field mice. Hey, "I done gone and made a smorgasbord!"

Now, just how did they figure that out? It was the first time I'd shredded in nearly a year.
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Old December 22, 2013, 03:46 PM   #36
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Have had hawks and crows do the same when plowing fields. They seem to align the fields in trees or even fence posts awaiting that field mouse, mole or even a snake to be turned up.
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Old December 22, 2013, 05:37 PM   #37
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I don't think it is magnetism alone and I'll tell you why, the fox doesn't always orient north. If orienting to magnetic north increased his success rate b/c the fox could feel/sense something differently pointed straight north it would orient north when hunting under the snow.
The fox obviously doesn't know "north"/"South" is the key, so I doubt it is the key to success. I think something else is at play.
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Old December 22, 2013, 09:31 PM   #38
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As mysterious as a thermos bottle, right?
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Old December 22, 2013, 10:49 PM   #39
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The fox obviously doesn't know "north"/"South" is the key, so I doubt it is the key to success. I think something else is at play.
You mean I changed chairs at the dinner table for nothing?
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Old December 23, 2013, 09:19 AM   #40
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Shifting emphasis: I am regularly amazed by the dedication and patience of the people who do these studies. The hours, days, weeks, months and years of observation and recording the activities of wildlife.

A recent NatGeo program focussed on a man who spent some five years in study of the wildlife of a preserve in Africa. He'd learned individual animals and their habits. There was another photographer who took pictures of the researcher as the man was withing twenty or thirty feet of feeding lions, taking pictures of them at "lunch". Dedication. There was lot of footage of the interaction of predators, taken up close and personal.

So I can't help but wonder at the amount of time spent to get the videos of our fox during his hunting.
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Old December 23, 2013, 10:12 AM   #41
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Art Eatman:

So I can't help but wonder at the amount of time spent to get the videos of our fox during his hunting.

Same here. I doubt very much that the footage was a chance encounter. In one of the scenes you can see the fox is walking in fox tracks partially covered with snow. He/she is stepping in each track precisely. Obviously a route he/she took on a earlier hunt days before. Some of the other footage may indeed be from that earlier hunt. Odds are there was weeks/months of waiting in a blind and hundreds/thousands of hours of footage taken to produce those few minutes that were broadcast.
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Old January 4, 2014, 12:24 PM   #42
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Here's a new twist on a old thread.......

Dogs poop using the earth's magnetic field
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Old January 5, 2014, 01:24 PM   #43
big al hunter
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I would like to see the actual results with all of the variables noted. It seems our canine companions may have one sense up on us.

While I can say it is possible that canines can sense the magnetic forces around us, I am wondering how the observer or scientists studying the data determined that the dogs pooped along magnetic lines. I have noticed that dogs tend to choose their locations carefully, but it seemed to me it was based on scent. What proved otherwise to the researchers?
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