Migration occurs when living things move from one biome to another. In most cases organisms migrate to avoid local shortages of food, usually caused by winter. Animals may also migrate to a certain location to breed, as is the case with some fish.
The species that periodically migrate are called migratory, those that do not are called resident or sedentary.
Bird migration is common. The longest known migration of a bird is that of the Arctic Tern, which migrates from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back each year. Flyways are routes that certain bird species take to migrate.
Whales, butterflies, moths, eels, and lemmings are also known to migrate. The periodic migration of plagues of locusts is a phenomenon recorded since Biblical times.
Human migrations also happen on a large scale, in history and in modern times. Seasonal human migration is very common in agricultural cycles.
In archaeology, migrationism describes an interpretative framework where all major cultural changes are explained by large-scale movements of people.
Modern transport, particularly the volume and speed of air transport has facilitated the rapid migration of bacteria and viruses which cause diseases. One of the earliest examples is the infamous plague or "black death" which arrived in Europe along trade routes via the Middle East from the Orient. More recently, virulent strains of influenza and AIDS.
In geophysics, migration is a process which keeps in account the right positions of samples in sections with dipping reflectors and structural complexity.
Last updated: 06-02-2005 04:48:27