Ants can sense earthquakes a day in advance

simpsons-hail-ants

Ants can sense earthquakes a day in advance
Subodh Varma, TNN | Apr 12, 2013, 06.36 PM IST

Red wood ants have special cells called chemoreceptors which can detect changes in carbon dioxide levels.

NEW DELHI: Ants know when an earthquake is about to strike, researchers have discovered. Their behavior changes significantly prior to the quake and they resume normal functioning only a day after it.

Gabriele Berberich of the University Duisburg-Essen in Germany presented these findings on Thursday at the European Geosciences Union annual meeting in Vienna according to LiveScience.

Berberich and her colleagues discovered that red wood ants preferred to build their colonies right along active faults in Germany. They counted 15,000 ant mounds lining the faults. These faults are fractures where the Earth violently ruptures in earthquakes.

Using a special camera mounted software that tracked changes in activity, Berberich and her colleagues tracked the ants round the clock for three years, 2009 to 2012. They found that the ants’ behavior changed only when the quake was over magnitude 2. There were 10 earthquakes between magnitude 2.0 and 3.2 during this period, and many smaller ones. Humans can also sense quakes of over magnitude 2 only.

According to Berberich, normal ant activity consists of going about collecting food etc. during the day and resting in the night. But before an earthquake, the ants did not retreat into their mound in the night and bustled around outside it. This strange and abnormal behavior continued till a day after the earthquake, Berberich told a news conference, according to LiveScience.

How do ants know an earthquake is coming? Berberich suggested that they could either be picking up changing gas emissions or noting tiny changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. Red wood ants have special cells called chemoreceptors which can detect changes in carbon dioxide levels. They also have magnetoreceptor cells for detecting electromagnetic fields, she said.

Berberich and her colleagues are planning to continue the research in areas where there are more and bigger earthquakes.

This is the first time ants’ capability to react to future earthquakes has been reported. Earlier research had established another bizarre capability of some ants – the ability to withstand high radioactivity.

Earthquake sensitivity among animals and birds has been widely reported from across the world but in no case is it so much in advance and so predictable.

Ants can sense earthquakes a day in advance – The Times of India.

Advertisements

About anomaly

SMiles Lewis has had a lifelong interest in all things anomalous. An early age proclivity at recalling his nightly dreams as well as several personal experiences with ESP, precognition and dream switching bolstered his interest in the paranormal. Shortly after high-school he joined the local MUFON chapter in Austin, Texas. He would later become a MUFON State Section Director for that group as well as leader of the local UFO Experiencer Support and Study Group. A lover of books, SMiles collected over 1000 titles before founding the non-profit Anomaly Archives that serves as the lending library of the Scientific Anomaly Institute (501c3). For over twenty years he has worked with digital audio, video and other bleeding edge internet technologies. He has published his own print journal (E.L.F. Infested Spaces), edited a local paranormal newspaper (Austin Para Times), maintained a large network of websites (ELFIS.net), organized a national UFO conference (NUFOC-38), spoken to anthropologists about UFOs and parapsychology (Encounters with the Fantastic), hosted (and been a guest on) both terrestrial and webradio talk shows and has been podcasting since before the phrase existed. All these efforts and more have led radio talk show host Robert Larson to describe Miles as a “Gonzo Alt-Media Proprietor and Informationalist.” He is also the LOWFI-Texas State Bureau Chief of The League of Western Fortean Intermediatists. SMiles’ current projects include co-hosting PsiOp-Radio with Mack White as part of the many unique shows airing daily on his ANOMALY RADIO Network. He is active with several local non-profits which includes his service on the board of directors for the Institute for Neuroscience And Consciousness Studies (INACS) and the Scientific Anomaly Institute‘s lending library, the Anomaly Archives. His writings can be found within the Archives of his print journal ELFIS and ANOMALY Magazine. In his day job with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission‘s Talking Book Program he manages a Volunteer Recording Studio and audio duplication department and has been a consultant on two digital audio development documents for the Library of Congress‘ National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
This entry was posted in News, Research, Science, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s