Researchers from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Behavioural Biology in Constance/Radolfzell and the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour at the University of Constance have now investigated this exact phenomenon.
The research results seem to confirm the long-standing assumption, and found that some farm animals actually take their cue from cows.
“Cows become less active shortly before an earthquake – they virtually freeze. When dogs and sheep see this, they then become nervous and restless,” says Martin Wikelski, head of the research project at the institute.
In this sense, the animals are reacting to each others as much as they are to environmental stimuli.