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Submitted by semans on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:35

Animals have been experimentally shown to navigate their environments using landmarks, beacons, and cognitive maps. A landmark an object or structure distinguishable from the background environment that gives information about the position of and direction to a goal, while a beacon directly locates the goal. A cognitive map is an image of the environment stored in the animal’s memory. The use of landmarks has been demonstrated in animals as different as wasps and birds. In wasps, a test was done where a circle of pinecones was placed around a wasp’s nest, and then moved once the wasp had left. When the wasp returned, it looked for its nest in the pinecone circle, evidencing it use of landmarks. In hummingbirds who were trained to locate a flower based on two differently coloured poles, it was found that moving the poles caused them to look for the flower at its absolute location from the poles. Additionally, Clark’s nutcrackers have been shown to use cognitive maps. In a test where seeds were buried halfway between two landmarks, the nutcrackers managed to consistently locate the seeds even as the landmarks’ absolute distance from each other changed. It was concluded that the nutcrackers had learnt the relationship between the landmarks and the seeds rather than judging distance and position of the seeds based on the landmarks. This has generally been accepted as evidence of a cognitive map in Clark’s nutcracker.



Maybe as an additional piece of information you can talk about how landmarks and cognitive maps are not mutually exclusive and why !

i really like this paragraph!! I like how detailed it is and how you show different examples of animas such as hummingbirds, etc. I like it a lot !

I believe in the second sentence you meant to write 'A landmark is an object...'