Magnetic navigation by newts intrigues Indiana University scientists who studied red spotted newts to see if they could use small variations in the earth’s magnetic field to find their way home, according to a report from Nature Science Update 14 Aug 2001. The newts leave their ponds in summer but return to the same ponds in winter. The scientists moved them away from their home ponds and used electromagnets to produce small variations in the magnetic environment, then observed any deviations in the direction they moved as they set off towards their home pond. In each test the small magnetic change altered the directions they moved. The scientists believe the newts learn the magnetic features of their home environment as young animals.
Editorial Comment: Newts are supposed to be “primitive” animals that have hardly evolved from being fish, yet they can detect small variations in the local magnetic environment that humans can only detect with precision instruments designed and built by intelligent electronic engineers. In fact, there is no such thing as a primitive animal. Whenever we investigate them we find sophisticated engineering that requires intelligent design. (Ref. newt, magnet, navigation)