Animals and earthquakes

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animals-and-eathquakesSome people believe animals can predict earthquakes.

There are stories of dogs howling, cats going into hiding, fish jumping from the water and birds taking flight just before a quake.

Three days before a giant earthquake hit the city Mianzhu,thousands of toads roamed the streets. Zebras in zoo hit their heads against their cage door and elephants swung their trunks.

Scientists put forward two possible theories:

  1. Animals sense vibrations in the Earth before humans can feel them.
  2. The movement of rocks causes electric signals that animals can sense.

(Adapted from Disaster! Written by Sue Unstead in 2009)


1 What do cats do when they feel that an earthquake is coming?

2 Do the words ‘earthquake’ and ‘quake’ mean the same?

3 Can you work out what sort of animals toads are similar to: cows, frogs or bees?

4 Which animal has a trunk?

5 Have scientists proved how animals can predict an earthquake?

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