Can animals predict the weather?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It has long been understood that animals could be good indicators of coming weather changes.

There may be some truth to those old wives' tales. We tend to take our senses for granted, since we spend most our time indoors. Most animals, including snakes, alligators, fish, and ducks take their cues from mother nature.

It was the perfect day to stop by the Crowley's Ridge Nature Center and talk to Cody Walker.

"A few of the trees are starting to change a little bit of color. The nights are definitely getting cooler around [the area]. We're definitely getting into fall, getting into winter."

Walker adds that animals have keen senses that allow them to detect the slightest change in weather. Birds have a sensitive inner-ear that lets them judge air pressure.

"We're starting to get migratory waterfowl coming through. We've had a lot of pintails, mallards, things of that nature starting to migrate through Northeast Arkansas. And it's just that time of year. Animals are starting to migrate."

Cold-blooded reptiles such as snakes can use their forked tongues to "taste" the air temperature around them. Minute vibrations in the ground can be felt by turtles and many other animals. Even dogs can tell when mother nature is about to take a nasty turn.

We've all seen how erratically animals can behave in the moments leading up to an earthquake. So, the next time you want to know the weather, remember to go to nature. You'll be surprised by the reaction of the animals nearest to you.

"They can tell the nights are getting shorter and it's getting cooler."

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