The winter storms are on their way. Caribbean spiny lobsters form a long chain. With their antennae, they touch the backs of the lobsters ahead of them. It’s time for their annual journey, or migration.
Before winter begins, these lobsters leave shallow waters. They seek out deeper, warmer water. Here, the waves are less choppy. The ocean floor is still. Food is more plentiful.
We know that many animals migrate. They move from place to place, often at specific times or seasons. Why? To search for food or for places to breed. What drives these lobsters to move?
In fall, the days are shorter.
There is a sharp drop in water temperatures. This sends the lobsters on their way. They know the underwater landscape. But they are also guided by Earth’s magnetic field.
How? Some animals have small particles of a magnetic mineral in their brains. This mineral may react to Earth’s magnetic field. It may activate nerves and send messages to the brain that help animals know which direction to go.
Caribbean spiny lobsters link together when they migrate across the ocean floor.