Further Reading

Animals have many reasons to move. They have to track energy and resources, maintain homes and patrol territories, visit shelters and places to mate, sleep, or hibernate. Animals know places in the world that are significant to them and are able to navigate between them, in some cases on a global scale. This ability to orient in the world is based in the simplest case and on a small scale on path integration, a process by which an animal continuously monitors its movements in order to determine the direction and the distance of home, or it can be based on a much richer knowledge of cues that define routes and places. On a larger scale, globally migrating animals appear to follow instructions on compass directions and flight or swimming distances, and are guided by distinct features, were they coastlines, rivers, mountain ranges, magnetic field structures, or air and ocean currents. In moving around, animals thus rely on spatially and temporally structured information from the world, the direction, distance, strength, orientation, or temporal sequence of which they need to be able to detect. One crucial prerequisite for using these cues for the purpose of navigation in the widest sense is that animals align their sensors with respect to the world and are able to detect and correct deviations.

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