Cows align with Earth’s magnetic field

Studying satellite imagery from Google Earth, researchers found that cattle (and deer) often align themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field lines between the north and south poles. They aren’t the only ones believed to sense magnetic fields: bacteria, molluscs and mole rats also display a magnetic ‘sixth sense’. But while magnetoreception has a clear advantage for migratory animals, it’s not obvious how it could benefit cows. One hypothesis is that it may help them to map their local surroundings.