Finding solutions in nature

Nature is a source of great ideas and solutions to problems.

A robin can see the magnetic field through its right eye.

A robin can see the magnetic field through its right eye.

A little known fact according to scientific research is that dogs when off the leash and in a stable magnetic field prefer to poop aligned to north-south of the magnetic poles.  As funny as this fact is, a more interesting insight emerges that dogs are one of a growing group of species which have a sense of magnetic fields.

Recent research involving pythons, a large snake, dumps them 20 miles from their original location finds that the python has an innate compass and map which allows them to navigate back to their starting point.  The growing research in animal navigation using the earths magnetic field excites me, as I am keen on the idea of a navigation system that can operate without need of a third-party service such as a GPS satellite.

It amazes me how ignorant many in humanity are who treat nature as an inconvenience unworthy of consideration in any aspect of their lives, something  controlled or kept at a distance.  Nature to me is a rich information source, a huge information system which I am constantly pulling ideas from which directly impacts my business branding, products and processes.

My business deals with information delivery, so how my DNA codes information to how a python navigates using magnetic fields are all of great interest to me.  I ask crazy questions like how can a food crop tell my computers it is under attack by a pest in the same way as they can communicate to a predator of the pest to attack the pest.  The cause-effect type of learning of crows that match the intelligence level of a seven-year-old-child, and the scaffold learning ability of bees to deal with ever-complex patterns of learning, all have useful applications in artificial intelligence.

For every problem people seem to head to Google for the answer, but few ever considered that undervalued nature might provide a solution for every challenge humanity faces.


8 responses to “Finding solutions in nature

  1. Great post and so true! Nature fascinates me and that animals intelligence is much under-rated! Animal lovers recognise it but maybe others don’t (or it scares them?) It has made me think about the answers in nature, so thanks!

  2. Alex, somewhere in my dim and distant pass I recollect that people can also pick up the magnetic lines of force. Too long ago to remember where, possibly read in The New Scientist magazine that I subscribed to over 30 years ago.

    You need to be somewhere clear of magnetic disturbances. Then the person is blindfolded and gentle turned around three or four times. Then given time to slowly orientate themselves facing South. I.e. the back of their head facing magnetic North.

    When solo sailing many years ago I could sense when in my bunk if the yacht had come off course. Others I spoke to reported the same. Often wondered if it was the body ‘reading’ the lines of magnetic flux.

    Fascinating, yet when one thinks of the benefits to ancient species hardly surprising.

  3. This afternoon’s walk with the dogs seems to indicate we do not have a stable magnetic field. Perhaps not as tongue-in-cheek as it may come over as we are surrounded by mountainous country.

  4. [ Smiles ] Oh, I enjoyed reading that amazing fact about dogs.

    It is nice to have you back in the blogosphere, Alex.

    I genuinely missed your thought-provoking articles!

  5. Reblogged this on leahpolvinale.

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