Robert J. Gegear

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Although many animals use the Earth's magnetic field for orientation and navigation, the precise biophysical mechanisms underlying magnetic sensing have been elusive. One theoretical model proposes that geomagnetic fields are perceived by chemical reactions involving specialized photoreceptors. However, the specific photoreceptor involved in such(More)
The present study used previously developed techniques to measure resolution acuity in bumblebees (Bombus impatiens). Bees were required to discriminate between horizontal and vertical gratings in a Y-maze apparatus. The gratings had a mean luminance of 9 cd m(-)(2) and a Michelson contrast of 84 %. For different bees, either the horizontal or vertical(More)
Humans are not believed to have a magnetic sense, even though many animals use the Earth's magnetic field for orientation and navigation. One model of magnetosensing in animals proposes that geomagnetic fields are perceived by light-sensitive chemical reactions involving the flavoprotein cryptochrome (CRY). Here we show using a transgenic approach that(More)
Parasitic infection can influence a variety of behavioural mechanisms in animals, but little is known about the effects of infection on the cognitive processes underlying ecologically relevant behaviours. Here, we examined whether parasitic infection alters cognitive aspects of foraging in a social insect, the bumble-bee (Bombus impatiens). In controlled(More)
Bayesian foraging in patchy environments requires that foragers have information about the distribution of resources among patches (prior information), either set by natural selection or learned from past experience. We test the hypothesis that bumblebee foragers can rapidly learn prior information from past experience in two very different experimental(More)
Recent studies of the iconic fall migration of monarch butterflies have illuminated the mechanisms behind their southward navigation while using a time-compensated sun compass. Skylight cues, such as the sun itself and polarized light, are processed through both eyes and are probably integrated in the brain's central complex, the presumed site of the sun(More)
During their fall migration, Eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) use a time-compensated Sun compass to aid navigation to their overwintering grounds in central Mexico. It has been assumed that the circadian clock that provides time compensation resides in the brain, although this assumption has never been examined directly. Here,(More)
Parasites can affect host behavior in subtle but ecologically important ways. In the laboratory, we conducted experiments to determine whether parasitic infection by the intestinal protozoan Crithidia bombi or the tracheal mite Locustacarus buchneri alters the foraging behavior of the bumble bee Bombus impatiens. Using an array of equally rewarding yellow(More)
Understanding the biophysical basis of animal magnetoreception has been one of the greatest challenges in sensory biology. Recently it was discovered that the light-dependent magnetic sense of Drosophila melanogaster is mediated by the ultraviolet (UV)-A/blue light photoreceptor cryptochrome (Cry). Here we show, using a transgenic approach, that the(More)
In the fall, Eastern North American monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) undergo a magnificent long-range migration. In contrast to spring and summer butterflies, fall migrants are juvenile hormone deficient, which leads to reproductive arrest and increased longevity. Migrants also use a time-compensated sun compass to help them navigate in the(More)