The Thoughtful Animal

The Thoughtful Animal

Exploring the evolution and architecture of the mind

Impact of the Japan earthquake and tsunami on animals and environment


I've got a new piece over at the Scientific American Guest Blog:

On Friday, March 11, Japan was rocked by an earthquake. People were displaced, a nuclear reactor was in trouble, and the world watched as a tsunami flooded Japan, threatened the islands of the Pacific, and ultimately hit the western coasts of North and South America. Chris Rowan pointed out that "Very little of the devastation resulting from this earthquake was from the initial shaking. This is partly because of Japan's stringent building codes. But mainly because any damage from the seismic waves that sent skyscrapers in Tokyo swaying was dwarfed by the impact of the 10 metre tsunami that hit the Japanese coast less than an hour later." Most of the reporting (both good and bad) that has been done on the earthquake, the tsunami, and the resulting fallout from both has focused on their effects on humans. But humans are just one species affected by these sorts of disasters. I wondered: what happens to animals when faced with such a massive tsunami?

Head on over to Scientific American to check it out.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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