Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Navigation, volume 54, no. 3 (Sept. 2001), pp. 429-435. Copyright © 2001 The Royal Institute of Navigation; published by Cambridge University Press. Used by permission.


Animals use many different mechanisms to navigate in space. The characteristics of the mechanism employed are usually well-suited to the demands of each particular navigational problem. For example, desert ants navigating in a relatively featureless environment use path integration, birds homing or migrating over long distances use compasses of various sorts, salmon returning to their natal stream home on olfactory cues. The study of navigation requires the study of many different taxa confronting different problems. One interesting case 1 involves scatter-hoarding species that use memory to relocate their hidden food. Such animals face the problem of remembering many locations simultaneously. Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) are an excellent example, and this paper considers their possible use of multiple bearings from landmarks.