Ants Sense Earthquakes

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Ants are able to sense earthquakes before  they strike, new research has suggested.

Researchers have discovered red wood ants  prefer to build their colonies along active faults, fractures where the Earth  ruptures, in Germany.

Gabriele Berberich, of the University of  Duisburg-Essen, in Germany, said the behavior of the ants significantly changed  before an earthquake above magnitude 2.0 hit the area. Their behavior did not  return to normal until a day after the earthquake.

Sense: Red wood ants (pictured) significantly change their behaviour before an earthquake, researchers have discovered
 Red wood ants (pictured) significantly change  their behavior before an earthquake, researchers have discovered

 

Colony: The researchers tracked the ants round the clock for three years between 2009 and 2012
The researchers tracked the ants round the clock  for three years between 2009 and 2012

Berberich presented her research at the  European Geosciences Union annual meeting, in Vienna, LiveScience  has reported.

Her team, who counted 15,000 ant mounds  lining the active faults, tracked the ants round the clock for three years  between 2009 and 2012.

The team discovered the ants would undergo  their usual activities during the day before retreating into their mound at  night.

But before an earthquake, the ants would stay  awake and remained outside the mound during the night, leaving them vulnerable  to predators.

The research suggested the ants only changed  their behaviour when the earthquake was over magnitude 2, which is the smallest  earthquakes humans can feel.

Berberich has suggested the insects are able  to predict the earthquakes by picking up changing gas emissions or shifts in the  Earth’s magnetic field.

Communication: Red wood ants, pictured here communicating by touching antennae, prefer to build their colonies along active faults, the team found
 Red wood ants, pictured here  communicating by touching antennae, prefer to build their colonies along active  faults, the team found

 

Damage: Buildings damaged by an earthquake in Mirandola, near Modena, in May last year
 Buildings damaged by an earthquake in Mirandola,  near Modena, in May last year

Berberich said: ‘Red wood ants have chemo  receptors for carbon dioxide gradients and magneto receptors for electromagnetic  fields.

‘We’re not sure why or how they react to the  possible stimuli, but we’re planning on going to a more tectonically active  region and see if ants react to larger earthquakes.’

The Times of  India has  reported Berberich and her colleagues are hoping to continue their research in  areas where larger earthquakes are more common.

Attribution: James Rush, Mail Online

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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