Animals predicts the earthquake?


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            The belief that animals can predict earthquakes has been around for centuries. In 2008, a severe earthquake happened in Wenchuan, China. Several weeks before this earthquake, the toads in Wenchuan began a large scale migrate, people found hundreds of toads appeared on the street. Someone wondered if it is a phenomenon that predicted a big disaster. After the earthquake happened, more and more people believed in that the strange behavior of animals do indicate the nature disaster. In other words, animals can predict earthquakes for some unknown reason. original.png

            Can this belief be used in to the predict of earthquake or the other  nature disaster? People's opinions are divided on this topic. Even in ancient times, historians recorded that animals, including rats, snakes and weasels, deserted the Greek city of Helice in droves just days before a quake devastated the place. During the recent years, the erratic behavior of animals before the earthquake such as catfish moving violently, chickens that stop laying eggs and bees leaving their hive in a panic have been reported. Also, countless pet owners claimed to have witnessed their cats and dogs acting strangely before the ground shook--barking or whining for no apparent reason, or showing signs of nervousness and restlessness. The supporters of that animals can predict earthquake raise the assumption that, wild and domestic creatures feel the Earth vibrate before humans, and another idea suggest they can detect electrical changes in the air or gas released from the Earth. So, it seems that we can apply our discover into the prediction of disasters.

           However, as Andy Michael, a geophysicist at USGS said that animals react to so many things--being hungry, defending their territories, mating, predators--so it's hard to have a controlled study to get that advanced warning signal. Several studies have been done on this issue, but the results of them were not strong enough to prove the credibility of the animal's predict. The opponents claim that feeling a trembling earth, even if minutes before we would feel it, would not give much guidance to a running or flying animal other than a response to seek safety, moreover, we are not sure if the animal can really predict.  Even though there have been documented cases of unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes, a reproducible connection between a specific behavior and the occurrence of an earthquake has not been made. Remember we talk in our class, that the correlation is not equal to causation. It the same that, we can easily find that the unusual behavior of animals has something to do with the earthquake. But we cannot make the conclusion that the earthquake cause the unusual behavior of animals.

            In my personal view, it is better for us to take the strange behavior of the animal as a signal, in order to avoid the larger hurt.

article if you'd like to read

 Source from:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/1111_031111-earthquakeanimals.html

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/eqscience.php

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/can-animals-predict-disaster/tall-tales-or-true/131/

http://biology.about.com/od/animalbehavior/a/aa123104a.htm

4 Comments

I agree with your opinion. I think that we should further study animals reactions to natural disasters. This could be done by having animals treated normally in laboratories, and study there behavior for up to a year on end. I would say that there are a few natural disasters a year that animals would supposedly be able to detect

I also believe this because animals seem to have more natural instinct than humans do. They are able to detect storms and bad weather far before humans can. So, it definitely make sense that they would be able to detect natural disasters such as earthquakes.

I think this can be a very valuable thing to study because it can save many lives. I believe that in order to understand why animals can seem to detect earthquakes more research must be done on earthquakes. I believe there is some sort of precursor to the earthquake that animals can predict, but our human sense are not sensitive enough to pick up on. This could be some sort of electrical pulse that is only detectable by animals or some sort of slight shift.

It's always been known that animals of all species have heighten senses when compared to humans. Birds and turtles migrate over large distances. They are genetically programmed to respond to the changing days as well as weather. Sea turtles use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate the ocean. Elephants, along with their large ears, can produce infrasonic sounds that can travel over long distances and be heard by other elephants.

Here's where I got all that:

Yale- Heightened senses in animals

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