facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Aquatic animals may 'sense' imminent quake

Dec. 1, 2011 at 6:45 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
GREENBELT, Md., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Animals may sense chemical changes in groundwater when an earthquake is about to strike, providing a possible warning sign, U.S. and British researchers say.

Scientists began to investigate these possible chemical effects after seeing a colony of toads abandon its pond in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009 several days before an earthquake, the BBC reported Thursday.

Researchers led by Friedemann Freund from NASA and Rachel Grant from Britain's Open University found animals that live in or near groundwater proved highly sensitive to any changes in its chemistry.

Such sensitivity and subsequent behavior might give clues to signs of an imminent earthquake, they said.

Scientists have been studying the chemical changes that occur when rocks are under extreme stress.

"When you think of all of the many things that are happening to these rocks, it would be weird if the animals weren't affected in some way," Rachel Grant of the Open University said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Scottish fish were the first to have sex and they did it sideways, study finds Scottish fish were the first to have sex and they did it sideways, study finds
2
Internet trolls in Britain could face serious jail time Internet trolls in Britain could face serious jail time
3
First white rhino born in captivity dies in Kenyan conservancy First white rhino born in captivity dies in Kenyan conservancy
4
Sean Parker to atone for wedding's Big Sur damage with app Sean Parker to atone for wedding's Big Sur damage with app
5
Protestors object plans to build telescope on land sacred to native Hawaiians Protestors object plans to build telescope on land sacred to native Hawaiians
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback