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Can Ants Predict When an Earthquake Will Strike?

A new study done by the University Duisburg-Essen in Germany suggests that red wood ants can sense when an earthquake is about to strike.

The study done by Gabriele Berberich from the University in Germany found that the behavior of ants changes in preparation of an earthquake and doesn't go back to normal until a day or two after the quake, according to

Findings from the study suggested that ants can either detect the change in the electromagnetic field or the change in gas emissions due to particular cells that the red wood ants have.

The study also found that ants build their colonies along major fault lines. After Berberich and her colleagues followed the ants for three years from 2009 to 2012 they learned that the ants only react in preparation of earthquakes of magnitudes of 2.0 or greater, also according to

In the hours before an earthquake the ants muddled around the outside of their mound instead of going about their normal activities which include going out during the day and coming back in at night.