How elephants evaded Tsunami

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Peterkro, Feb 15, 2005.

  1. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #1
    There has just been a real interesting program about how the elephants of Sri Lanka went immediately inland on feeling the shock of the earthquake and then sensing the approaching wave through their feet. Unfortunately to listen you need Realplayer .Available on BBC site.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/nature.shtml
     
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #2
    didn't get a chance to listen to it, but its amazing how some animal's instincts can be so right and save them from disasters like this, amazing
     
  3. Peterkro thread starter macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #3
    I guess a good survival tactic is if the elephants piss off inland maybe you should too. Same with cows lying down in a field(I lived in the shaky islands for some years).
     
  4. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #4
    This story seems completely believable. Animals have hearing and instincts that are beyond our knowledge. Dogs have also been shown to exhibit this ability.
     
  5. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #5

    I believe ALL animals have this 6th sense, not just some. Humans also have it however we have either choose to turn it off, not listen to it, or don't know how to tell if its warning us.


    When a human looses one of its everyday 5 sense either one or more of they sense goes into a higher state. :)
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    Well at least people could not go down to see when the ocean pulls out way waaaaay farther than you've ever seen it go before. Ever since I've been a kid that one has been drilled into me. No matter how cool it looks, stay the hell away from an ocean that recedes a 1/4 mile or more!
     
  7. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #7
    Yes, all animals do have this ability. I think that over time humans for the most part have lost our 6th sense. We use our intellect much more.

    When a human has a loss of sight, then there hearing becomes much more acute. They can be much more discriminating with what they hear. Also they use there sense of touch to detect more of there environment.

    http://www.dbproject.mn.org/fivesenses.htm
     
  8. Sunrunner macrumors 6502a

    Sunrunner

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    #8
    hmmm

    Very cool. I guess that means by extension that a lot of the elephant handlers escaped the Tsunami as well. Anybody seen any analysis of odd animal behavior other than this just before the Tsunami?
     
  9. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

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    #9
    let's not forget that this "sixth sense" also makes animals do a lot of obviously irrational things. My dog, for example, barks every time someone walks by our house. Maybe if she was a little brighter she would know that not everyone is worth wasting her breath on. On the other hand, maybe she just does it for fun, in which case I would have to agree - I join her sometimes because her excitement is so convincing.
     
  10. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #10

    Animals make sounds to release they stress, as human do as well. We all have stress in our lives and a certain amount is good. :)
     
  11. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #11
    On the other hand, there may be another explanation: Elephants are really big animals, not easily washed away, and very few of them hang out at the beaches, where 98% of the people who passed away was when the wave(s) hit.
     
  12. Peterkro thread starter macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #12
    I wasn't trying to belittle the appalling loss of life.If you haven't listened to the program(about 30mins) it is very thought provoking and very thorough.
     
  13. winwintoo macrumors 6502

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    #13
    There have been some studies of dogs that are able to smell cancer in urine etc. and there are tons of anecdotal stories about trusted farm animals that "rescued" their owners.

    Recently, my elderly mother who's always disliked dogs to the point of avoiding them - and they were smart enough to avoid her too - was visiting my son's family and their little, yappy dog crawled up on her lap and kept nudging her chest. For some reason she allowed it. We all wondered if the planets were going to collide.

    A few days later, she called and told me she wasn't feeling well. My first instinct was that she was having a heart attack, but when I got to her house, it seemed more like the flu.

    When the *flu* got worse over the next few days, we took her to emergency only to discover that she had indeed had a heart attack several days previously.

    Maybe the yappy little dog was trying to tell us something :confused:

    There's a guy in California that did a study of lost dogs and cats in the newspapers and claimed he could predict earthquakes based on the number of animals that had gone missing - I think they're smart enough to head for the hills when they sense something is about to go wrong.

    Take care, Margaret
     
  14. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #14
    This reminds me a bit of the scene in the movie Dreamcatcher where Beav and Jonesy see a ton of animals (deer, raccoons, rabbits, bears, etc.) running through the forest, all in the same direction. One of them (Beav, I think) says, "Wow, that's pretty cool", but the other says the sensible thing: "I wonder what they're all running away from."

    Helpful hint: If you see a large mass of different types of animals all running in the same direction, follow them.
     
  15. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #15
    Dreamcatcher the movie sucked, I liked the book better. :)
     
  16. clayj macrumors 604

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    #16
    That seems to be the universal opinion. I never read the book myself... and the main reason I even went was to see Final Flight of the Osiris, the CGI-tie in to The Matrix Reloaded.
     
  17. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #17
    Evolution is a crazy thing. Did anyone else notice that the palm trees all seemed absolutely fine after the tsunami? They're obviously that shape for a reason... :cool:
     
  18. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

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    #18
    That is due to wind and the ocean sway, when the three is in its growing stages. This has nothing to do with evolution. ;) :)

    I have seen palm trees as straight as a tree can be in nature. :)
     
  19. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #19
    As impressive as this is, it's not that surprising, and I don't even think it's accurate to call it a 6th sense. Some animals have some senses that are much stronger than ours, and they've adapted to respond to them instinctively (or just get spooked enough by some things to be useful).

    For example, elephants are known to have extremely good hearing, and I believe that it's particularly sensitive in the ultra-low-pitched area, below anything humans can hear. As such, earthquake "noises" (and quite possibly strange ocean sounds) could be something they're more likely to hear than a human, and respond accordingly by running away from them.

    We have our own well-tuned senses, of course, though we rarely pay attention to them--a dog might have such a good sense of smell that it can tell when a bear is a quarter mile away, but it also usually has the good sense to run away from it. We can see well enough to notice the ocean receed hundreds of feet, but instead of getting spooked often go down to check it out. We can also see the subtle color differences in the sky that indicate a forest fire miles away or an unnatural concentration of NOx above a city skyline, as well, but again we rarely do anything with that information.
     
  20. Peterkro thread starter macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #20
    Elephants can hear and feel low frequency sound waves many, many times more sensitively than humans can even sound that it is audible to us. Some of the people studying them had yet to figure out just how attuned they are.
     
  21. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #21
    I'm not saying they're bent or anything, just that their thin, streamlined shape is interesting considering the conditions they've gotta prevail. The fact that they have all their leaves up the very top too. It just seems like another example of nature adapting to its circumstances. It's not like this was the first tsunami to ravage the Atlantic, granted humans haven't seen one quite like it before though.
     
  22. Frozone macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Lots of animals do differenthing "6th Sense" type things. For example, lots of times before extremely bad storms and stuff dogs and other animals usually act really strange. I've seen things on TV about how out in Kansas or Oklahoma there was a dog that bothered his owner about going to the basement all day and would stand around the basement door and try and try and try to get down into basement. That's all they did and just kept acting strange and later that day they had a pretty bad tornado. Also, lots of times i'll be riding down the road with my Grandpa and we'll pass a herd of cows and he'll start telling me what's gonna happen weather wise that day b/c of how the cows are acting. Most of the time he's right too.
     
  23. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #23
    It was in NO way my intention to belittle the enormous human catastrophy caused by the tsunamis. Absolutely not.

    I just tried to offer an alternative (here actually meaning a bit more realistic) explanation to why very few elephants died. There has grown a myth that "no animals died" in the disaster, which has little basis in the real world.

    Edit: The fact that most animals has better senses and also ability to move faster through rough terrain has played a not insignificant role...
     
  24. Santaduck macrumors 6502a

    Santaduck

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    #24
    Actually, infrasonic (below human hearing frequencies) hearing in elephants has been well documented. Some of the first evidence was from the observation that two groups of elephants would move in synchrony, zigging and zagging in tandem, even though they were miles apart and out of visual range (beyond the horizon line). Subsequent studies revealed vocalizations below 20Hz.

    Soundwaves generated by the tsunami would have moved not through the air but through water & earth, where the speed of sound is considerably faster. I don't remember offhand if they actually perceive through conduction via their feet.

    It's easy enough to Google if you're curious.

    Reports of survival-aiding behaviors by animals not known to have infrasonic hearing (prior to natural disasters) is a well-known anecdote, so there are some unexplained associations as well.
     

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