The Biscuit Diaries

DAY 312, Sunday, 1/13/13

January 13th 2013 7:13 pm
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Kathryn, one of my faithful readers, wants to know “if it is true that dogs can sense an oncoming earthquake before humans feel it. When I lived in Mexico City, where there are frequent quakes,” she explains, “the neighborhood dogs always began barking frantically before the quake became severe. Do you think your own feet are sensitive to earth tremors?”

Well, Kathryn, many creatures are sensitive to changes in nature in various ways. We Canines can indeed detect earthquakes before humans do, but it is not because our feet are more sensitive; it is because our sense of smell is more acute. You see, when tectonic plates begin to shift, the inner earth releases gases that rise to the surface. The most prominent of these is radon. To humans, radon is odorless and colorless, but we Canines (and many other creatures) can detect it long before the quake actually reaches the surface—just one more bit of evidence that we Canines are superior to humans.

 
 

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