How can some animals feel if the earthquake is coming? I mean is because of air pressure, or whatever?

Question by iMQ: How can some animals feel if the earthquake is coming? I mean is because of air pressure, or whatever?
And can we make some device to deal with it?
I mean making devices based on what animals feel (like air pressure for eg.)

Best answer:

Answer by Colin Higashi
Earthquakes are preceded by very small, low frequency vibrations that humans are unable to detect. Many animals are sensitive enough to notice these vibrations, and yes, we have instruments to detect that called seismographs.

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3 Responses to “How can some animals feel if the earthquake is coming? I mean is because of air pressure, or whatever?”

  1. paul h Says:

    It’s thought that animals can sense very slight shock waves or P-waves prior to the stronger shear waves or S-waves of quakes or hear low frequency sounds generated by earthquakes or possibly electrical emissions that occur shortly before quakes. Some people think this could lead to better quake warning systems but it remains to be seen how accurate and reliable they can be or developed..if at all.

    Some related links to biological or electrical precursors to quakes……..
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8593000/8593396.stm
    http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf099/sf099b09.htm
    http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf006/sf006p08.htm
    http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf027/sf027p10.htm
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071212201254.htm
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/can-animals-predict-disaster/video-full-episode/268/
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/01/0104_050104_tsunami_animals.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2ZwR9Dxbmo

    A video of a dog reacting just prior to a quake….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAzZIH4_X-s&feature=related

  2. SpartanCanuck Says:

    A major quake is often preceded by much more subtle seismic events. Some animals can in fact detect them. What prevents this from being a reliable (major) earthquake indicator, is that such events are not ALWAYS followed by a major earthquake. So, you have a detector that will give hundreds of false positives for every hit, rendering it basically useless.

  3. Graybeard Says:

    It’s clearly not air pressure; that has nothing to do with earthquakes. Some sort of low-frequency vibration is possibly the culprit. Lots of people have worked on it over the years.

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