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Cows can't detect earthquakes: Official

Swedish bovine earth-moving experiment ends in disappointment

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Swedish scientists have disappointingly discovered that cows do not have "an innate ability to detect natural disasters", thereby thwarting any possibility of deploying bovine imminent earthquake detectors in seismic hotspots.

According to The Local, researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) fitted "advanced GPS sensors and animal monitoring devices" to eight ruminants in Skåne and then checked out how they behaved during a quake which shook southern Sweden on the morning of 16 December last year.

The results proved shattering for the SLU team. Researcher Anders Herlin explained that, despite being a mere five kilometres from the epicentre, "only two of the eight cows bearing the monitoring equipment stood up during or a minute before the tremors began".

The sobering report continues: "Two other cows were already standing, while another two were lying down before, during, and after the quake. One cow actually sat down at the exact second that the earth began shaking, and the eighth cow’s equipment malfunctioned, leaving researchers in the dark about its reaction to the quake."

Herlin said: “Very little, almost nothing, points to the cows having any advance awareness of or feeling the effects of the earthquake. One can probably say that, as a species, cows are not the world’s most earthquake-sensitive animals.” ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Mike Richards for the tip-off.

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