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11 animals that have a sixth sense

By: Bryan Nelson on Sept. 22, 2010, 1:20 p.m.
A pigeon flying

Photo: bluelake/Shutterstock

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Many migratory birds have an amazing ability to detect Earth's magnetic field, a sense they utilize like a compass to navigate great distances. This sense is called magnetoreception, and few birds perform it better than pigeons, especially domestic homing pigeons.

Pigeons have iron-containing structures in their beaks, which are arranged in a complex three-dimensional pattern. This gives the birds an acute sense of spatial orientation, allowing them to identify their geographical position.