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Do birds and animals behave differently before an earthquake?

Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, Pillay Chair Professor & Former Director of IIT Delhi.
Do birds and animals behave differently before an earthquake?
Do birds and animals behave differently before an earthquake?

Can studying the anatomy and physiology of birds (ornithology) hold the key for development of sensors for an early warning of earthquakes?

Apparently, there have been confirmed reports of unusual animal behavior 20 hours before a quake, but the evidence for this phenomenon is largely anecdotal and not scientifically proven. 

Also Read: India's sixth flight under Operation Dost reaches earthquake-hit Türkiye

Saw multiple reports of strange bird behavior the night before the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria. With the kind of destruction the earthquakes have been causing lately, I guess there is something we can learn from the bird/animal behavior to be able to develop sensors to #predict earthquakes a few hours before at least.

Also Read: Ghana national player Christian Atsu found alive under Turkey earthquake rubble

The issue is, earthquakes are relatively rare events, so it can be difficult to obtain a large enough sample size to make statistically significant conclusions about bird/animal behavior before earthquakes. Apparently, electromagnetic variations have been observed because of earthquakes, but there is no sufficient data to use such variations as precursors. 

Also Read: 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit southeast Turkey, followed by another strong temblor

The link could be in the recent discoveries that indicate that pigeons use #magnetism to find their way home. Researchers have discovered a small spot on the beak of pigeons and some other birds that contains #magnetite, which acts as a GPS unit for birds giving it information about its position relative to earth's poles. Researchers have also found some specialized cells in birds' eyes that may help them see magnetic fields.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi dedicates India’s first earthquake memorial

Published date : 14 Feb 2023 03:37PM

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