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  Mice 'can warn of earthquakes'
Updated 30 June 2003, 21.14
Earthquakes cause devastating damage
Scientists believe the simple mouse might be able to predict earthquakes.

Japanese researchers have found that mice behaved strangely after being exposed to electric and magnetic fields like those sometimes detected before earthquakes.

The levels would be undetectable by humans.

Fact File
Weird quake behaviour
China: catfish are said to throw themselves out of their tanks
Mexico: snakes are said to leave their burrows
US: lots more dogs than usual wander off two weeks before a quake
The scientists first noticed the unusual behaviour in their lab eight years ago, the day before the huge Kobe earthquake in Japan.

They hope that by reproducing the electromagnetic fields near the mice they might be able to predict earthquakes.

But biologists point out that it's hard to pinpoint when mice are being odd so it might not be that useful.

Animals are often said to behave oddly just before earthquakes.

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