Grazing Cows Naturally Align Themselves With?

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Cows grazing, oriented North along the Earth's North/South magnetic axis.
Tony Fischer/Flickr

Answer: The Magnetic Poles

They might not be known the world over as the brightest creatures, but cows sure know how to keep an organized herd. Whether you’re watching a grazing herd in North Dakota or New Zealand, there’s one thing cows excel at: orienting themselves, en masse, along the axis of magnetic North/South.

Although scientists don’t have a definitive answer as to why cows align themselves with the magnetosphere, there are several theories: it coordinates movement among herd members, facilitates escape from a predator, ensures herd members are grazing the land efficiently by moving in the same direction together, and it may help the cows better map out their physical environment if they consistently orient themselves in the same direction.

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