Able, Kenneth P. Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York, Albany, New York.
Last reviewed:August 2020
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- Evolution of migration
- Spectrum of migration
- Control of migratory behavior
- Mechanics of bird migration
- Orientation mechanisms
- Sun compass
- Star compass
- Magnetic compass
- Wind direction
- Moon compass
- Homing and navigation
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Regularly occurring, oriented seasonal movements of individuals of many animal species. The study of animal behavior, or ethology, often includes analyses of migratory behavior (Fig. 1). The term migration can refer to a diversity of animal movements, ranging from short-distance dispersal and one-way migration to round-trip migrations occurring on time scales from hours (the vertical movements of aquatic plankton) to years (the return of salmon to their natal streams following several years and thousands of miles of travel in the open sea). In particular, clear directionality plays a key role in seasonal movements, usually between breeding and nonbreeding areas. In addition, seasonal migrations can occur over great distances relative to the sizes and locomotory abilities of the species involved. See also: Behavioral ecology; Ethology
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