Animals may sense chemical changes in groundwater that occur when an earthquake is about to strike.
This, scientists say, could be the cause of bizarre earthquake-associated animal behaviour.
Researchers began to investigate these chemical effects after seeing a colony of toads abandon its pond in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009 - days before a quake.
Fascinating observations. If I notice the toads rapidly leaving ponds during next year's field season I will be heading to open ground!