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New Research Indicates Elephants Sense Rain Storms 150 Miles Away!

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posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 05:33 PM
Researchers from Texas A&M, the University of Virginia, the University of New South Wales and the University of Utah tracked the movements of African elephants in and around Namibia for seven years with GPS and were able to correlate the movements and weather data, coming to the astonishing conclusion that the elephants were able to detect storms as far as 150 miles away!

How the elephants are able to do this is not known, but the reasons why such an ability would be advantageous is apparent. From Discovery News:

"We don’t know if they can actually hear the thunder or if they are detecting other low-frequency sounds generated by the storms that humans can’t hear. But there is no doubt they know what direction the rain is," said Oliver Frauenfeld, assistant professor in the geography department at Texas A&M, in a statement.

The Namibia region has a short, distinct rainy season, lasting only a few weeks. Luckily, it seems, for the elephants, they are able to get some inside information on where all of that cool, life-sustaining water will be.

While the researchers aren't yet certain what specifically sets off the elephants' keen weather-sense, one side benefit is clear: If wildlife officials tasked with protecting elephants from poachers can use weather data to make predictions about where elephants will go, they have a better chance of protecting the herds.

posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 05:43 PM
Elephant trunks are very sensitive and probably can detect low frequencies.
I think it is due to some kind of sensory gel between layers of connective tissue.
Sort of like a capacitor?

posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 05:52 PM
a reply to: theantediluvian

Wow! Interesting.


posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 07:01 PM
Starred and flag for neatness.

posted on Oct, 15 2014 @ 07:11 PM
What are these stupid researchers doing, I knew this fact when I was at school, back in the 1960's. I am 57 now.

posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 12:48 AM
a reply to: RobWatcher

Where did you go to school?

posted on Oct, 18 2014 @ 01:07 AM
Every animal does....including humans.

Have'nt you people ever "Smelt" a storm coming, via the extra moisture in the air? or the salty breeze from winds blowing across the ocean onto land for many miles?
Not to mention the detection of ozone and the electrical currents of static electricity in the air.

All animals are "Tuned" into our surroundings.

Even bushfires are smelt dozens of miles away.

We do have 6 senses us mammals.

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 07:59 PM
a reply to: theantediluvian

Another explanation beyond just infrasound is that they're very intelligent and the leaders of the packs have decades of experience. They are intuitive weather predictors from personal observation and experience living in the particular environment and have learnt the patterns, as did sailors before radio-transmitted weather forecasts.

They probably can learn that at certain times of the year, the pattern of temperature, wind and clouds gives non-trivial information about the weather.

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