The unusual behavior of animals and birds before earthquakes suggests that they have a ___ of the event.   A. advocateB. presentimentC. sentimentD. tangent       

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Yes, the answer is B. [Presentiment is also sometimes referred to as the sixth sense.]

We humans still have sensors on our stomachs which provide us at times with a sixth sense. This is why people will speak of a "gut feeling" about something. It would seem, too, that animals have this sixth sense, but they use it more since they need it.

Animals, who have a much keener sense of smell than humans, can discriminate smells better than people. They detect a change in the electrical charge in the air; this change causes a "metallic" smell. As the barometer drops, positive ions increase, causing a lessening of the body's cortisone. Any animal--including people--who have adrenal glands will notice this change.

With regard to animals' sensing an earthquake, the United States Geological Survey, a government office, states that the animals'

...consistent and reliable behavior prior to seismic events, and a mechanism explaining how it could work, still eludes us.....But many animals with more keen senses are able to feel the P wave seconds before the S wave arrives. As for sensing an impending earthquake days or weeks before it occurs, that's a different story.

Japanese and Chinese scientists are closely studying this phenomenon because if they can discover the key to this knowledge of an earthquake, they can alert the population much sooner. When, for example, the tsunami struck Japan in 2011, many people were injured and killed, but very few animals were harmed.

After a tsunami on Sri Lanka and India coastlines, most animals were uninjured. Here are some statics from National Geographic in 2010 about a tsunami in India:

Corea from Sri Lanka did not see any animal carcasses nor did the park personnel know of any, other than two water buffaloes that had died, he said.

Along India's Cuddalore coast, where thousands of people perished, the Indo-Asian News service reported that buffaloes, goats, and dogs were found unharmed.

(They had fled, then returned after the tsunami)

Even birds that live by the water had fled. Flamingos. who bred at this time of the year in a wildlife sanctuary in India flew to higher ground before the storm, even though their natural urges were strongly toward breeding. They were unharmed.

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gsarora17's profile pic

gsarora17 | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

The unusual behavior of animals and birds before earthquakes suggests that they have a presentiment of the event.
Answer is B.

presentiment means feeling , sense , intuition

mel9922's profile pic

mel9922 | eNotes Newbie

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