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Ant-icipation Of Earthquakes!

    New research is suggesting that ants are able to predict earthquakes before they strike.

    Gabriele Berberich, a researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, has discovered that active faults are the preferred nesting sites for red wood ants in Germany. She has counted over 15,000 red wood ant mounds lined up along these faults.

    Berberich and her colleagues have tracked the ants during the past 3 years with video cameras. The cameras ran 24-7 and they used special software to catalog behavioral changes. Between 2009 and 2012, there were 10 earthquakes of a magnitude of 2.0 to 3.2. It is interesting to note that the ant’s behavior only changed for earthquakes greater than 2.0, which is about the smallest quake that a human can feel.

    On a normal day, the ants worked during the daytime and they rested inside their mounds at night. But, they discovered that before an earthquake, the ants would stay awake all night and remain outside of their mounds. And, the ants did not resume their normal behavior until a day after the earthquake.

    How do the ants sense an earthquake coming? Berberich suspects that ants pick up changing gas emissions or local shifts in the earth’s magnetic field.