Science: Sensing Quakes

Why animals know in advance

On May 6, 1976, animals in the Friuli region of northeastern Italy inexplicably went berserk. Dogs began barking and howling, cats ran into the streets, and hens refused to roost. Mice and rats scurried out of their hiding places and ran in circles. Horses and cows fidgeted in their stalls. Pet birds flapped their wings and emitted agonizing calls, almost as if they sensed what was about to occur. At 9 o'clock that night, the Friuli area was jolted by a major earthquake.

Farmers and other country folk who live in seismically active areas have long insisted that...

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