Why do sheep all face the same way in a field? © iStock

Why do sheep all face the same way in a field?

The Earth's magnetic field might have something to do with this baaaa-rmy behaviour.

Asked by: David Wilson, Glasgow

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Sheep tend to stand with their backs to the wind when it is cold, but even on sunny days, cows, sheep and even deer all tend to face in the same direction. Research looking at satellite images has shown that they prefer to align themselves north to south. It’s possible that they might be sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field, but how they can sense this, or why that might be useful, isn’t currently understood.


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