Some organisms have the unique capacity to geolocate and navigate in response to the Earth’s magnetic field lines. Migratory birds and fishes are the best-documented animals that evolved this capacity to guide their movements. In the microbial world, magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) and multicellular magnetotactic prokaryotes (MMPs) have been the only known magnetoreceptive microorganisms for decades. Some microeukaryotes also orient their motility axis along magnetic field lines thanks to the exploitation of MTB magnetism. The magnetic guidance of these prokaryotes and eukaryotes is due to the biomineralization of magnetic crystals. This article provides a brief overview of the current knowledge concerning the different multicellular prokaryotes and micro/macroeukaryotes capable of magnetoreception. We also discuss the evolution of this unique ability.

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