The geographic distribution of migratory species can span thousands of kilometers. Yet, traits that enable large-scale migrations are poorly understood. A recent study demonstrated that juvenile eels uses the Earth's magnetism for their dispersal, with possible implications for their evolution. Current Biology.
This comment follows a recent study also published in Current Biology that showed that juvenile eels can use the geomagnestism to navigate. This sense is common in the animal kingdom but still intriguing as the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we discuss whether the capacity of magneto-sensing in eels can be expressed at all life stages and whether this could be a mechanism used to return to their natal area, the Sargasso Sea. Was this true, the study would have implications for possible reproduction, mating system and population structure (or lack of).