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Earthquake sensory perception in vertebrates
Ikeya, Motoji Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.
- Animal behavior before earthquakes and tsunamis
- Preearthquake physical and chemical changes
- Laboratory reproduction of behavior
- Electromagnetic pulses and electric fields
- Animal prediction of earthquakes and tsunamis
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
There are often reports in the popular press and folk legends of unusual vertebrate animal behavior before large earthquakes and tsunamis. Retrospective reports of unusual phenomena occurring before the 1995 Kobe (Japan) and the 1999 Izmit/Turkey and Taiwan earthquakes (magnitude 7) indicated that mammals became restless, irritated, nervous, and panicky, acted “crazy,“ and tried to escape from their cages. A possible cause of this odd behavior could be the animals' perceptions of various physical and chemical changes that occur in the environment before earthquakes occur. For example, the fracture of underground rock structures before an earthquake causes seismo-electromagnetic signals, and there were reports of malfunctioning home electrical appliances and observations of such seismo-electromagnetic signals before the Kobe, Izmit/Turkey, and Taiwan earthquakes. It is quite possible that animals detected these signals, as laboratory experiments involving the fracture of granite rock and the generation of static electric fields and silent electromagnetic pulses have caused disturbances in animals (caused them to awake from sleep and move around). However, changes in magnetic fields were not shown to have an effect.
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