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How Animals Predict Earthquakes

| Filed under: Mama NatureScience!Frog

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Scientists believe animals may be able to sense when an earthquake is coming by sensing changes in ground water.

A researcher was studying toads in a lake in Italy when all of the toads suddenly evacuated the lake.

Days just before a major quake.

The researcher said:

"It was very dramatic. It went from 96 toads to almost zero over three days."

Animals that live in or near groundwater are very sensitive to any changes in its chemistry, so they might detect the changes in rocks before the "slip" and cause a quake.

When rocks are under impossibly high levels of stress, they release charged particles.

These particles can flow into surrounding rocks and eventually reach earths surface, converting air molecules into positive ions.

A doctor said:

"Positive airborne ions are known in the medical community to cause headaches and nausea in humans and to increase the level of serotonin, a stress hormone, in the blood of animals."

It's all very sciencey.

Scientists are trying to find a way to incorporate animal behavior into early warning systems.

Basically, if you see a hundred toads leave a pond all at once, you should go stand in a doorway, or get under a sturdy table or one of those other quake survival methods.

[Image via AP Images.]

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