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A bird’s eye view of quantum entanglement | Nova

February 15, 2021

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

Chryptochrome or Cry4, mentioned in the linked articles below, has been known and studied for some time as possibly involved in the ability of birds to navigate by the earth’s magnetic field. That quantum entanglement, which Albert Einstein characterized as “spooky action at a distance,” may be involved seems to be a new development. I think more evidence is needed. But read the articles and form your own opinion.

A bird’s eye view of quantum entanglement
Scientists have long wondered how birds “read” Earth’s magnetic field to navigate. Some think entangled particles in birds’ eyes play a role.
NOVA – PBS.org | Katherine J. Wu | 6 Feb 2019

In a bare, windowless room, a lone robin stretches her wings. The chamber is silent and dark, illuminated only by a dim artificial light source. But even with no apparent connection to the outside world, the small bird repeatedly flutters in the same direction, guided by an invisible force. It’s a scene scientists have watched play out again and again.

That force, it turns out, is Earth’s magnetic field, which arises from the electric currents in our planet’s molten, metallic core. Scientists have long known that birds are equipped with a mysterious ability to tune in to these orienting forces, but exactly how this works hasn’t been clear. But some researchers say they have a good working theory—and it shows that avian evolution has tapped into quantum mechanics.

Earth’s magnetic field is perhaps the most reliable navigational guide in nature, constant even when neither sunlight nor starlight is available, or landmarks fail to guide the way.


This article goes into the Cry4 protein in greater depth, discussing its involvement in circadian rhythms and the ability to sense magnetic fields.

Protein in Birds’ Eyes Helps Them ‘See’ Earth’s Magnetic Field
Called Cry4, the protein belongs to a group known to regulate circadian rhythms, or biological sleep cycles.
NOVA – PBS.org | Yasmeen Fakhro | 10 Apr 2018

Researchers have discovered a protein in birds’ eyes that allows them to see magnetic fields.

The protein, called Cry4, belongs to a group of proteins known to regulate circadian rhythms, or biological sleep cycles. It turns out that Cry4 serves a previously unknown function, interacting with light to help birds sense magnetic fields.


Here’s an early research paper on cryptochromes.

Retinal cryptochrome in a migratory passerine bird: a possible transducer for the avian magnetic compass
ResearchGate.net | Moller, Sagasser, Wiltschko, Schierwater | January 2015

Abstract –
The currently discussed model of magnetoreception in birds proposes that the direction of the magnetic field is perceived by radical-pair processes in specialized photoreceptors, with cryptochromes suggested as potential candidate molecules mediating magnetic compass information. Behavioral studies have shown that magnetic compass orientation takes place in the eye and requires light from the blue-green part of the spectrum. Cryptochromes are known to absorb in the same spectral range. Because of this we searched for cryptochrome (CRY) in the retina of European robins, Erithacus rubecula, passerine birds that migrate at night. Here, we report three individually expressed cryptochromes, eCRY1a, eCRY1b, and eCRY2. While eCRY1a and eCRY2 are similar to the cryptochromes found in the retina of the domestic chicken, eCRY1b has a unique carboxy (C)-terminal. In light of the ‘radical-pair’ model, our findings support a potential role of cryptochromes as transducers for the perception of magnetic compass information in birds.

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