When I'm thinking about sharks, I'm usually too busy pondering their terrifying array of sharp teeth to consider what might be going on with their ears. As it turns out, everyone's favorite predator boasts ears sensitive enough that many experts say can detect changes in water and air pressure that typically accompany hurricanes and tropical storms. In fact, review of shark tracking patterns shows that they often react by diving into deeper waters to wait out the mayhem, as indicated by behavior before many storms, such as Hurricane Charley in 2004 and Tropical Storm Gabrielle in 2001 [sources: Welch, Farmers' Almanac ].
The ear theory has yet to be conclusively proven, with some experts saying that there are others ways by which sharks can identify approaching doom and take the necessary precautions [source: Frantz]. Be that as it may, it does seem that sharks, like many other animal brethren (who they'd probably find pretty tasty) do possess a sixth sense of sorts, which has probably contributed to their success in the whole "survival of the fittest" contest throughout time.
Author's Note: 10 Ways Animals Supposedly Predict the Weather
I'm happy to observe the weather-predicting powers of friendly animals, like cows, kitties and sheep. All those snakes, wolves and sharks can keep to themselves, however. I certainly don't need their help as long as there's an app for that.
- Allen, J.D., S.D. Anderson, R.J. Collier, and J.F. Smith. "Managing Heat Stress and Its Impact on Cow Behavior." 2013 (Feb. 21, 2014)http://www.wdmc.org/2013/Managing%20Heat%20Stress%20and%20Its%20Impact%20on%20Cow%20Behavior.pdf
- Animal Planet. "Why is your cat sneezing?" 2015 (Feb. 20, 2015) http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/why-is-your-cat-sneezing/
- AOL. "Can your cat's behavior predict the weather?" Feb. 21, 2014 (Feb. 20, 2015) http://www.aol.com/article/2014/02/21/can-your-cats-behavior-predict-the-weather/20835053/
- Arnold, Carrie. "Birds May Have Sensed Severe Storms Days in Advance." National Geographic. Dec. 18, 2014 (Feb. 19, 2015) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/12/141218-birds-weather-tornadoes-science-animals-environment/
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- DeBroder, Chuck. "Can Animals Predict the Weather?" KTSM-TV. March 13, 2014 (Feb. 19, 2015) http://www.ktsm.com/weather/weather-talk/can-animals-predict-weather
- Defenders of Wildlife. "Basic Facts About Frogs." 2015 (Feb. 17, 2015) http://www.defenders.org/frogs/basic-facts
- Evans, Lisa. "Groundhog day 2013: how well can groundhogs predict the weather?" The Guardian. Feb. 1, 2013 (Feb. 17, 2015) http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/feb/02/groundhog-day-2012-groundhogs-weather
- Farmers' Almanac Staff. "Is It True That Cows Lie Down When It's About To Rain?" Farmers' Almanac. Jan. 1, 2006 (Feb. 17, 2015) http://farmersalmanac.com/weather/2006/01/01/is-it-true-that-cows-lie-down-when-its-about-to-rain/
- Farmers' Almanac Staff. "Wild Weather Forecasters." Farmers' Almanac. June 29, 2009 (Feb. 20, 2015) http://farmersalmanac.com/weather/2009/06/29/wild-weather-forecasters/
- Frantz, Vickie. "Animals May Sense Impending Hurricanes, Research Suggests." AccuWeather. Aug. 23, 2012 (Feb. 20, 2015) http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/do-animals-sense-hurricanes/70307
- Grandinetti, Nikki. "Respect The Frog Blog Series: How Frogs Predict The Weather." Adventure Insider. 2015 (Feb. 17, 2015) https://adventureaquarium.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/respect-the-frog-blog-series-can-frogs-predict-the-weather/
- Lombardi, Linda. "Punxsutawney Phil and 7 other animals who predict the future." Today. Jan. 31, 2015 (Feb. 19, 2015) http://www.today.com/id/46223522/ns/today-today_pets/t/punxsutawney-phil-other-animals-who-predict-future/#.VOYF3jEo45t
- Lovern, Kyle. "Wooly worms, fat squirrels and predicting winter." Williamson Daily News. Oct. 19, 2013 (Feb. 19, 2015) http://www.williamsondailynews.com/news/opinion/2663661/Wooly-worms-fat-squirrels-and-predicting-winter
- McMahon, Sara. "Head-butting sheep predicted heavy winds: how to foretell the weather." Iceland Mag. Aug. 1, 2014 (Feb. 19, 2015) http://icelandmag.com/article/head-butting-sheep-predicted-heavy-winds-how-foretell-weather
- Mother Nature Network. "8 Animals Thought to Predict the Weather." The Weather Channel. Feb. 18, 2013 (Feb. 17, 2015) http://www.weather.com/science/news/animals-predicting-weather-20130201#/4
- Richardson, Lance. "Why Do Wolves Howl?" Slate. April 14, 2014 (Feb. 20, 2015) http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2014/04/14/why_do_wolves_howl_wolves_do_not_howl_at_the_moon.html
- The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. "Groundhog Day History." 2015 (Feb. 17, 2015) http://www.groundhog.org/about/history/
- Thomas, Abbie. "Can animals predict the weather?" ABC Science. May 18, 2010 (Feb. 17, 2015) http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/05/18/2902595.htm
- U.S. Geological Survey. "100% Chance of an Earthquake." USGS. 2015 (Feb. 19, 2015) http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/100_chance.php
- U.S. Geological Survey. "Animals & Earthquake Prediction." 2015 (Feb. 19, 2015) http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/animal_eqs.php
- Welch, Marti. "What Happens to Animals During Hurricanes?" Science Scope. Feb. 2006 (Feb. 20, 2015) http://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=51521
- WGN Team. "Ask Tom Why." Chicago Weather Center. Oct. 20, 2012 (Feb. 19, 2015) http://chicagoweathercenter.com/blog/ask-tom-why-can-squirrel-nest-placements-accurately-predict-the-character-of-the-coming-winter
Most people think high winds are the deadliest part of a hurricane. But it's actually storm surge. HowStuffWorks finds out why the water is so deadly.