Did you know that some animals and bacteria have magnetite in their bodies? Magnetite is a magnetic material consisting of an oxide of iron, and is a form of iron ore. A type of marine mollusc called a chiton even has magnetite in its “teeth”, which actually cover its tongue. This magnetite lets the animal scrape algae, but it might also provide a homing sense, helping chitons to find their way back to certain places where they like to mate and feed. It is also thought homing pigeons have a magnetic sense that helps them navigate. There is magnetite in their beaks which may help them.
GCSE Scientists – you need to understand magnetism and electromagnetism. For help with this try our new guide “How to work with Magnetism and Electromagnetism”. It includes an explanation of magnetic fields and forces, what the motor effect is, and how to use Fleming’s left hand rule. As always there are questions to try, and answers to check understanding.
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