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Old December 13, 2013, 01:25 PM   #1
Art Eatman
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A Fox, Hunting

Under the snow, in the Dakotas:

http://www.edisproduction.de/2013/11...ncredible-way/

Definitely incredible. 75% success when Mr. Fox is aligned with the earth's magnetic field.
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Old December 13, 2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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Thanks Art !!

Wow,
That was pretty amazing and informative. ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 13, 2013, 04:06 PM   #3
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Hmmm... face the North Pole...guaranteed meal 75% of the time?

I'm changin the chairs around at the dinner table.

Great vid. Art. Thanks for postin.
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Old December 13, 2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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Nature never ceases to amaze me!! Fantastic!!
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Old December 13, 2013, 04:57 PM   #5
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Watched the episode when it aired on T.V. Pretty amazing.
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Old December 13, 2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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Now that there's huntin!

nice video. thanks for posting

Nature never ceases to astound and inform.
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Old December 15, 2013, 06:20 PM   #7
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That is amazing!

I doubt that it is the magnetic field assisting the Fox though. Seems more likely that the glare of the sun (that is south of him all winter) would have more influence than the North pole. But I'm no scientist . Just a guy that has squinted into the southern direction to see how far away something is.
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Old December 16, 2013, 09:45 AM   #8
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He is hunting blind with no visual cues, I don't see how a visual impairment would make any difference.
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Old December 16, 2013, 11:40 AM   #9
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Yeah, I too think that the foot and a half of snow is more of a visual impairment than sun glare. I wonder if the same is true for Robins and worms? Is this a trait we as humans have too, just have allowed it, like so many of our other senses to go dormant from non-use?
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Old December 16, 2013, 09:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
He is hunting blind with no visual cues,I don't see how a visual impairment would make any difference.
Just because he can not see the mouse does not mean he does not pick a spot to aim for before pouncing on it. Have you ever tried playing tag with a blindfold on? Just the sound gives the mind a location but no range estimation. Hand eye coordination is dependent upon visual cues. I would suspect the same holds true for a fox.
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Old December 16, 2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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Again he is hunting blind with no visual clues, again a glare/visual impairment from the sun will make no difference, try watching the video, many attempts are made in the shade of the foothills, yet he is still only 75% when facing north, glare present or absent.
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Old December 16, 2013, 11:27 PM   #12
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So the Fox is magically aligned to true North? Or is it magnetic North? Why can he aim with a North bearing and not a south bearing? Does the fox need math classes to calculate degrees off of North? ......why do scientists always think it is the hardest theory to prove, when the simplest explanation makes more sense.

Predators are vision oriented. They have amazing senses, hearing a mouse under 18 inches of snow, smelling a meal or danger from hundreds of yards, and binocular vision. Combined that is a formidable opponent. Take away any of the three....not so hard to fool anymore. If I were trying to catch something I could only hear, I would focus intently on the sound and pick a spot in the snow to jump on. I see the Fox in this video doing just that. His binocular vision allows him to determine how far away the mouse is by concentrating on the sound. When you hear a fire truck siren behind you do you look to your left to see where it is, or do you turn around and look directly at it to see how far away it is and what direction it is moving? Can you tell if it is 10 blocks away or 12 without looking? Ears tell us what direction to look, eyes tell us how far. Same for a Fox. Take away his vision and he can not aim.
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many attempts are made in the shade of the foothills, yet he is still only 75% when facing north, glare present or absent.
have you ever tried to catch a mouse under 18 inches of snow? Even the scientist said he misses 25 percent when facing North. When facing south he is 75% more likely to have glare from the sun. Simplest explanation is usually the truth.
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Old December 17, 2013, 11:08 AM   #13
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big al, if his finding the mouse's location is a function of hearing, how would the sun's glare affect his success? He's diving toward a sound, not a sighting. Seems like that's what puzzles the researchers: Why would north vs. south matter?
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Old December 17, 2013, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted bybig al hunter:

Predators are vision oriented.
Bats are predators and are basically blind. So are moles. Whales, porpoises and dolphins hunt by echolocation in the complete darkness of the deep sea. Many sharks find their prey by the electrical impulses given off by their prey, not by sight or smell. 'ell, there's even a line of hunting clothing designed that claims to reduce those same electrical impulses and make you invisible to game while standing right next to them. Many scientist believe owls use a similar sense that the fox does to hone in on it's prey in the dark after identifying it's location by sound. Migratory birds and Monarch butterflies are said to use their sense of the magnetic field to find their way. Just cause one don't understand something, or it can't be seen with human eyes, don't mean it ain't real. Kinda the whole idea behind Christianity.
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Old December 17, 2013, 10:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
big al, if his finding the mouse's location is a function of hearing, how would the sun's glare affect his success?
The fox hears the mouse, looks at where it should be, aims at his target an jumps. He can't hit the spot in the snow accurately with a glare in his eyes.
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Why would north vs. south matter?
My point exactly. If he is using magnetic polarity why would direction matter?
During winter months the earth sits on it axis so that the sun is south of the equator, thereby creating glare from the south, and a significant lack of glare when facing north.
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Bats are predators and are basically blind. So are moles. Whales, porpoises and dolphins hunt by echolocation
Agreed that they have sonar built in. If the fox had sonar, or aimed by hearing, he would not be vastly more effective in one direction. The only explanation, in my mind, is sun glare.
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Old December 18, 2013, 09:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by big al hunter:

The only explanation, in my mind, is sun glare.
Then how would that explain the difference in success rate during periods of low light, like cloudy days or night hunting. Early in the morning or late afternoons, if glare was a problem, success would increase only if the fox was lookin' west or east, not directly at the magnetic pole. I'm thinkin' that those doing the study, that reached the conclusion stated in the video, observed fox hunting more than one, sunny afternoon and considered many other variables such as wind speed/direction and angle/amount of sunlight. Being experts, IMHO, this would give them a better chance at reaching a correct conclusion than the average person watching one video on youtube. The reason the film showed the fox hunting in bright sun is probably because it was easier to film the subject from a distance far enough away as to not disturb the animal, when using high magnification lenses. I'm also thinkin' that more than one expert has come to the same conclusion, otherwise, the theory would have rebuked by peers.
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Old December 19, 2013, 12:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
if glare was a problem, success would increase only if the fox was lookin' west or east, not directly at the magnetic pole.
What are the odds that the fox is looking directly at magnetic north even 1% of the attempts that are somewhat North facing. Much less for 75% of attempts. 1 in 100, 1 in 1000, probably more. For magnetic north to aid in the capture of a mouse when only facing north the Fox would have to be very close to jumping directly north. The gaust field created by the magnetic polarity of the earth radiates in lines from North to south in a straight line. If the fox is off of North by 1 degree he will miss the target by 1 1/2 inches if he jumps 7 feet toward the mouse. If the Fox is off 4 degrees he misses by 6 inches. No mouse snacks at 4 degrees off the alignment. If it was alignment with magnetic polarity the Fox should be able to have equal odds of catching a mouse while facing north or south.

My point about sun glare is that it comes from the south all day. Looking east or West at least 1 eye is catching glare.

Don't get me wrong on this next point, I am not saying it is impossible that the Fox is using magnetic guidance, just not very likely.
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I'm also thinkin' that more than one expert has come to the same conclusion,otherwise, the theory would have rebuked by peers.
Did they talk about it with their peers before putting it on T.V.? And they don't say how long or under what conditions they observed the fox. It is just a theory. A nearly impossible to prove theory.
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Old December 19, 2013, 10:36 AM   #18
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" It is just a theory. A nearly impossible to prove theory."

I'd prefer to use the word "observation".

That's why I have what might be called a "maybe" file: Maybe so, maybe no. Wait for further information when I read or hear some alleged fact or sorta-reasonable causation.
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Old December 19, 2013, 06:00 PM   #19
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Magnetic alignment in animals has been known for years. Animals other than foxes, like deer and cows also align their body's axis along the earth's magnetic field. Not only do they do this while feeding but also when at rest. It has for many years been theorized that this alignment makes certain physiological processes work better, i.e. sensing the presence of predators. It's not really a new or astonishing find. For many years scientist theorized that Salmon found their way back to the streams the were born by the smell or mineral/chemical makeup of that particular stream. Now it is known they find it by the magnetic field. Same way migratory birds find their way. Could be the foxes senses are just more acute when he is in alignment and thus his accuracy is better.
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Old December 19, 2013, 06:26 PM   #20
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Hunting by sound, without Sonar.

Ever noticed the beautifully intricate array of feathers that frame the eyes of an owl?

Those feathers actually channel sound directly into the ears like a parabolic mic. Owls catch mice under the snow, at night and do so without the aid of clear vision or sonar, but rather by focusing on the origin of a sound.

Fox ears are also very much like directional mics....

I don't know why North would be important and why hunts facing South or East or West might fail far more, but I have no problem believing orientation plays a part and that sight may not be a crucial factor in the system...
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Old December 19, 2013, 11:26 PM   #21
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My biggest reason for disagreement with the idea that it is magnetic alignment is that the other animals use it in both directions. Migratory birds fly North and South equally well. Deer graze North and South. Polarity makes no difference which direction they are facing. If the fox is using magnetic alignment it should have equal results North and South. Because the fox has a tremendous difference in success to the south, it must be some other factor influencing the outcome.
Quote:
Owls catch mice under the snow, at night and do so without the aid of clear vision or sonar, but rather by focusing on the origin of a sound.
And it does not matter if they are flying North, south, east or West, because they are using their ears and only their ears. The fox is using his ears and eyes together. If the Fox only used his ears he would be close to equally successful in all directions. Because the Fox is experiencing almost zero success in all but 1 direction there must be a factor that influences the other 3 direction negatively, or 1 direction positively. I see the sun glare as a far more likely explanation for negative effect, than magnetic alignment for a positive effect..
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Old December 20, 2013, 10:54 AM   #22
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Next question: What's the success rate for his night-hunting?
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Old December 20, 2013, 11:18 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Art Eatman:

Next question: What's the success rate for his night-hunting?
...and cloudy days. Big Al is assuming that the glare is what reduces the fox's success rate when it's not facing north because it inhibits it's sight. But the video does not state the fox is using the Magnetic field to FIND the mouse, or even establish where it's going to jump. It has already done that by it's acute hearing. 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.
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Old December 20, 2013, 11:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
The fox is using his ears and eyes together.
And how do you know this?

Just because his eye are open, does not mean he is depending on them as part of the hunt?

The only reason the fox is looking where he is going to pounce is because his ears happen to point in the same direction as his eyes!!!

That to me is the simplest explanation for the involvement of the eyes in a hunt for mice a foot under the snow...

On the one hand you dismiss comparisons made with other animals that rely on hearing but then bring in your own comparisons to species that navigate by magnetism.
Seems a tad inconsistent to me.
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Old December 20, 2013, 09:18 PM   #25
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On the one hand you dismiss comparisons made with other animals that rely on hearing but then bring in your own comparisons to species that navigate by magnetism. Seems a tad inconsistent to me.
I am attempting to show why I believe the magnetism is not a valid argument for why North is so consistently successful. 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.
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Next question: What's the success rate for his night-hunting?
Let's make a pot of coffee and spend a few nights watching a fox....I would like to get to know you Art. I like your style.
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...and cloudy days. Big Al is assuming that the glare is what reduces the fox's success rate when it's not facing north because it inhibits it's sight. But the video does not state the fox is using the Magnetic field to FIND the mouse, or even establish where it's going to jump.
that was also not discussed in detail on the video. It was all rather vague as to the details of the study. Without those details we could argue all year. So I will agree that on cloudy days, if the success rates where the same as sunny days I would be wrong. They did not specify the conditions, so I assume they only studied on warm sunny days (because they are not used to the cold )
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