Questions? AskAuckland


Discussion Questions

This page contains resource questions and discussion points designed to further conversation on the subject of animal navigation.



1. Define the terms taxes, kinesis, homing and migration and explain the difference between homing and migration.


2. A range of sensory receptors are used by animals in orientation responses (taxes, kineses, homing and migration). Make a list of the main sensory receptors used, and link each to an example, e.g. audio receptors - navigation in bats and whales. 


3. Orientation behaviour such as migration is often triggered by an environmental cue. Describe the potential environmental cue that would trigger the beginning of the annual migration of the Kūaka or bar‐tailed godwit from Alaska to New Zealand.   


4. Magnetic sense allows animals to make use of the ability to sense variation in the earth’s magnetic field in navigation. What is the Earth’s magnetic field and how is it created?



Important Vocabulary: Test Yourself

Abiotic Biological clock Biological orientation
Biotic Environmental cue Homing
Innate behaviour Kinesis Learned behaviour
Magnetic anomoly Magnetic field Magnetic topography
Migration Model animal Navigation
Sensory receptor Taxes  


All images © Michael Walker unless otherwise acknowledged.