That's an excellent question!
It's a difficult
question to answer, because different animals
almost certainly respond differently to such
situations,and because it's very difficult to
design experiments that test such questions.
impression is that some animals probably do reduce
their activity when they detect a storm coming,
although it's not clear whether they're actually
detecting pressure changes or some other cues.
However, other animals are most likely clueless
about pressure changes or to approaching storms,
while other animals probably get more active. For
example, I can imagine animals with very fast
metabolisms (so they need to eat very often),
scrambling to find and eat as much food as
possible before being forced to take shelter for
an unknown period of time. Also, if some animals
slow down and stay put,there are probably other
predatory animals that take advantage of that and
increase their hunting in order to find and catch
I speculate on all these things,
because there's not a lot of research that focuses
on these questions. Asking whether or not an
animal can detect pressure changes requires a lot
of laboratory research. Even if it's determined
that the can detect pressure changes, that doesn't
prove that the animal uses that information when a
storm approaches. I don't know how you would
answer that question with wild animals--if you try
to answer it with caged animals, there's no
guarantee that captivity didn't change the
So it's a very difficult
puzzle to solve!
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