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Bats Set Their Internal Compass at Dusk—A First Among Mammals

Bats may be known for their stealth in the dark, but a new study shows they need light from the setting sun to navigate.

Live Update From Aboard Hōkūleʻa—Week One

Watch as young crew members, Jenna and Austin, talk about their experiences with navigation, squalls, seasickness, and canoe life in general.

Hōkūleʻa: The Journey Begins

After months of anticipation and years of preparation, the Polynesian Voyaging Society and its two canoes, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia, finally set off from their home on O’ahu for their voyage around the world! People from all over the world gathered to witness the event (including a few notable National Geographic Explorers). Read on to experience the sights and sounds of the long-awaited launch!

Hōkūle‘a’s Final Preparations: Photo Gallery

With only a few days left before the voyaging canoes Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia begin their journey around the world, the community and crew make their final preparations.

Invasive Pythons Can Find Home 20 Miles Away, Study Says

For Burmese pythons, there’s no place like home—abd the snakes can navigate from over 20 miles away to get there, a new study says.

Dung Beetles Use the Sun to Navigate

Call it a new twist on catching some rays: One species of dung beetle uses sunlight to steer its balls of poop, a new study says.

Geography in the News: International Shipping Chokepoints

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Navigational Chokepoints Egypt’s stability and security remain uncertain. Amid calls by opposition supporters for the president’s removal in early 2011, the country erupted into widespread demonstrations against the government and President Hosni Mubarak was removed. General elections brought Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi into…

Dung Beetles Gallop—Mystery Gait is a First Among Insects

The desert dwellers are the first known insects to gallop, a radically different gait from the three million other insects on Earth, a new study says.

Hike Like A Pro: Avoid Hiking Woes With Tips From Andrew Skurka

The sweltering summer is loosening its grip and pretty soon we’ll be welcoming fall’s foliage. It’s an ideal time to take a hike, but whether you’re a hiking aficionado that ventures out for long distances, or a novice that wants to take a day trip, it’s important to prepare. National Geographic Weekend spoke with hiking…

How Do Ants Get Their Magnetic Compasses?

Tropical leafcutter ants rely on a magnetic mineral to navigate long distances, a new study says.

It’s About Time: Lesson From a Micronesian Navigator-Priest

Racing around to get the perfect shot filmed, a National Geographic Explorer learns a great lesson from the chief of a tiny island.

Mystery Solved: Salmon Navigate Using Magnetic Field

There’s no place like home—and now scientists have figured out how salmon get there.

Dung Beetles Navigate Via the Milky Way, First Known in Animal Kingdom

Talk about star power—a new study shows that dung beetles navigate via the Milky Way, a first in the animal kingdom.

A Gathering of Wayfinders of the Pacific

National Geographic’s 2012 Explorers’ Symposium ended yesterday.  It was a mind-bending, week-long exploration fest.  Yet, despite the most daring and innovative presentations illustrating the technology and development of the metropolitan world (and there were many), I couldn’t help but reflect on the brilliance of native cultures from the world’s most remote regions. Consider this: before…

Pitcairn Islands Expedition: Ancient Navigators and the Modern World

Traveling for a month around the South Pacific can really open your eyes to the wonders and normalcy of the accomplishments of the ancient Polynesian navigators.