Primates

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 281–285 | Cite as

Seismic activity response as observed in mantled howlers (Alouatta palliata), Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge, Honduras

Short Communication

Abstract

This report documents the response of wild mantled howlers (Alouatta palliata) to coseismic activity (seismic activity at the time of an earthquake). During field work on the north coast of Honduras, data were collected on a habituated troop of mantled howlers as they responded to coseismic activity. The seismic event occurred on 13 February 2001 at 0822 hours local time with a magnitude of Richter scale 6.6, focus depth of approximately 15 km at a distance of 341 km from the epicentre to the field site, Cuero y Salado. At the field site, based upon Jeffreys and Bullen (1988), body waves, noted as P and S waves, arrived at 60 and 87 s, respectively, with surface waves arriving approximately 103 s post-origin time of the seismic event. While there are three reports on non-human primate response to coseismic activity in the literature, they report on captive non-human primates. This is the first documented response on a non-captive troop. In addition, this report compares the intensity measure encountered by a wild troop of howlers and one captive group of orangutans as set out by the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale. The Modified Mercalli measure of intensity is one of two standard measures of seismic activity and rates what a person sees and feels at their location (Wood and Neumann 1931; Richter 1958). Thus, arboreal nonhuman primates are found to respond to coseismic activity ranging from Level IV to Level VI as based upon the modified Mercalli intensity scale.

Keywords

Alouatta palliata Honduras Mantled howler Seismic activity 

References

  1. Altmann J (1974) Observational study of behavior: sampling methods. Behaviour 9:227–267Google Scholar
  2. Anderson C (1973) Animals, earthquakes, and eruptions. Field Mus Nat Hist Bull 44:9–11Google Scholar
  3. Antilla A (2001) Orangutans react to earthquake in Seattle. Long Call 6:4Google Scholar
  4. Bolt BA (1999) Earthquakes, 4th edn. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Bommer JJ, Benito MB, Ciudad-Real M, Lemoine A, Lopez-Menjivar MA, Madariaga R, Mankelow J, Mendez de Hasbun P, Murphy W, Nieto-Lovo M, Rodriquez-Pineda CE, Rosa H (2002) The El Salvador earthquakes of January and February 2001: context, characteristics, and implications for seismic risk. Soil Dyn Earthquake Eng 22:349–418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. CEPREDENAC (2004) Coordination centre for the prevention of natural disasters in Central America http://www.cepredenac.org/
  7. Chen AT, Ouchi T, Lin AM, Chen JC, Maruyama T (2000) Phenomena associated with the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan, possible precursors and after effects. Terr Atmos Ocean Sci 11:689–700Google Scholar
  8. Cox JA (1998) Land characteristics of Honduras, Technical Report CGIAR—consultative group on international agricultural researchGoogle Scholar
  9. Evernden JF (ed) (1976) Abnormal animal behavior prior to earthquakes I, proceedings of conference XI. US Geological Survey, Menlo ParkGoogle Scholar
  10. Grochembake JA (2003) Central America unites against earthquakes. Tierramerica (interpress service new agency), division of UNEP/UNDP http://www.ipsnews.net/
  11. Hill PS (2001) Vibration and animal communication: a review. Am Zool 41:1135–1142Google Scholar
  12. Ikeya M, Takaki S, Takashimizu D (1996a) Electric shocks resulting in seismic animal anomalous behaviors (SAABs). Jpn J Appl Phys 65:710–712Google Scholar
  13. Ikeya M, Furuta H, Kajiwara N, Anzai H (1996b) Ground electric field effects on rats and sparrows: seismic anomalous animal behaviors (SAABs). Jpn J Appl Phys 35:4587–4594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jeffreys H, Bullen KE (1988) First published in 1940, reprinted in Seismological Tables. British Association Seismological Investigations Committee, Gray Milne TrustGoogle Scholar
  15. Kirschvink JL (2000) Earthquake prediction by animals: evolution and sensory perception. Bull Seismol Soc Am 90:312–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Krusko N, Dolhinov P, Anderson C, Bortz W, Kastlen J, Flesher K, Flood M, Howe R, Kelly A, Favour NE, Leydorf C, Limbach C, Read E (1986) Earthquake: langur monkey’s response. Lab Primate Newslett 25(1):6–7Google Scholar
  17. Lott DF, Hart BL, Howell MW (1981) Retrospective studies of unusual animal behavior as an earthquake predictor. Geophys Res Lett 8:1203–1206Google Scholar
  18. Michels C (1997) Latitude/longitude distance calculation. http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/∼cvm/latlongdist.html - formats
  19. Richter CF (1958) Elementary seismology. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  20. Shaw E (1977) Can animals anticipate earthquakes? Nat Hist 86:14–20Google Scholar
  21. Tributsch H (1982) When snakes awake: animals and earthquake prediction. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  22. USGS (2004a) Earthquake hazards program—Pacific Northwest region, community intensity maps, postal code 98103 region http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/shake/pnw/STORE/X2281854/ciim_display.html
  23. USGS (2004b) Community internet intensity map: the science behind the maps. http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/shake/pnw/html/background.html - intensities
  24. USGS (2004c) Modified Mercalli Intensity. The severity of an earthquake, a US Geological Survey General Interest Publication. US Government Printing office 1989, pp 288–913 http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/general/mercalli.html
  25. Vreugdenhil D, Meerman J, Meyrat A, Gòmez LD, Graham DJ (2000) Map of the ecosystems of Central America: final report. World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  26. Wood HO, Neumann F (1931) Modified Mercalli intensity scale of 1931. Bull Seismol Soc Am 21:277–283Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and The Institute for Environmental StudiesUniversity of TorontoStouffville, TorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations