Animals have felt the arrival of the tsunami

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Animals, let alone a "sixth sense", are armed with a perception spectrum more developed than humans, which is why many of them, like elephants, were able to escape death during the tsunami in Southeast Asia, explains the French specialists. (Editor's note: In Sri Lanka, no dead animals have been counted, much to the amazement of officials!)

"In all that is vibration, earthquakes or sound waves, animals have abilities that we do not or more" to anticipate an abnormal event. Thus we see "dogs or cats panic even before the arrival of an earthquake or a volcanic explosion," told AFP Herve Fritz, ecology and animal behavior researcher at the CNRS. Elephants, which has been reported that they had gone running to inland in Sri Lanka or Thailand "have infrasound communication modes. They see in infrasound signals inaudible to humans and the physiological equipment to communicate over great distances, several tens of kilometers, "explains the researcher. In the earthquake of last week, there are two plausible hypotheses: they felt the arrival of the tsunami is the "signature floor" of the wave, either by a noise that men themselves did not perceive.

"They have compared to other species better faculty association and a great driving ability," adds Hervé Fritz. Many species have means, specific or generic, to defend a danger, even if they are unaware of the nature such as bats, which use a kind of sound radar that allows them to recover echo on an obstacle of a cry they have issued. So they are aware of a change in vibration, which indicates a dramatic change in their environment. Another example, rabbits and other four-legged animals who, on the basis of ground vibration, learned to anticipate the dangers. (...)

The animals have "warning codes": they emit alarm calls as do deer approaching predators or birds when a plane raptor. The elephant, which is very vocal, is able to express his excitement with cries associated with the hazard. Without knowing how to swim efficiently, that do very well in the Asian wildlife elephants or tigers, "many land mammals are able to take a critical water situation", for example to cross a river if the situation requires it, according to Hervé Fritz.,5296,0,012005,881419.php

Agence France Presse, the 04 / 01 / 05


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