A major reason for analysing short-range navigation is that it is relatively easy to record on video tape the details of an animal's behaviour over an area of about a square metre. Frequently, the orientation of the animal's body is revealed in addition to its trajectory through space. This is particularly useful in the study of insect navigation, the subject of the four contributions to this section. An insect's eyes are fixed in its head, and there are often no significant head movements during flight. Consequently, reasonable assumptions can be made about where the insect looks while it navigates and how the image of its surroundings moves over its retina. All four contributions depend to a large degree upon being able to freeze behaviour on video tape and to infer what the animal sees. To what extent do the conclusions using the abundant information that can be collected in this way extrapolate to navigation on a larger scale? Clearly, the coded information that instructs the monarch butterfly on its migrations from wide areas of North America to northern Michoacan in Mexico contains elements unique to long-distance travel. But there may be many similarities in the mechanisms available to an orchid bee as it travels over its 20 km foraging route from orchid to orchid and a wasp negotiating the last few metres through a complex environment to reach its nest.
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JOURNAL ARTICLE| 01 January 1996
Short-range navigation: does it contribute to understanding navigation over longer distances?
Online Issn: 1477-9145
Print Issn: 0022-0949
J Exp Biol (1996) 199 (1): 225–226.
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TS Collett; Short-range navigation: does it contribute to understanding navigation over longer distances?. J Exp Biol 1 January 1996; 199 (1): 225–226. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.199.1.225
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