Animals and Weather: Cheat Sheet

Stuff you need to know:

  • So far, science hasn't found a surefire way to answer many of the questions we have about animals' behaviors, perceptions and motivations. Until that time, it's hard to prove once and for all what's going on in their heads.
  • It's highly unlikely animals can predict weather in an ESP-sort of way, but they very well may be able to sense environmental signals that humans miss. Reaction is another key component: A human might sense a drop in barometric pressure, for example, but not feel compelled by that sensation to seek shelter before a storm hits, as an animal might.
  • Another potential reason animals might react to impending weather events and natural disasters differently than humans is because at least some of their five senses almost always surpass our own. Many weather occurrences generate noises in the infrasonic range, too low for people to usually hear, for example, but well within the hearing range of many animal species.
  • There are many ways the conditions of an environment may alter to give animals a heads-up that something rough is on the way. Apart from barometric pressure and sound waves, there can also be changes in hydrostatic, or water, pressure.
  • How animals pick up on and react to fluctuations in environmental signals likely varies from species to species, as well as among the individuals of those species.

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