Instinctive behaviors can be extremely complex even in relatively simple animals, for example, the remarkable navigational and communication skills possessed by honey bees. A worker bee may fly a quarter of a mile or more from the hive in search of flowers that are a good source of food. The sun usually serves as an indicator of direction, but the bee can navigate accurately, even in a moderate breeze, when the sun is hidden by a cloud. When it finds a good source of food, the bee has the capacity to calculate a true course back to the hive, allowing for wind and for apparent movement of the sun. Upon returning to the hive, it communicates the location of the food through a “dance” that conveys information about distance and direction. Other bees use this information to go directly to the food.
B. Homing Pigeon, breed of rock pigeon (see Pigeon) that is specially trained to return swiftly to its home. The exact means by which homing pigeons can travel great distances to find their home is not yet fully understood. Research indicates, however, a combination of navigational resources: sensitivity to the earth’s magnetic field, to ultraviolet light patterns in the sky, and to polarized sunlight, as well as recognition of landmarks on the earth’s surface. Could this really happen by random chance?