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The Amazing Natural Talents
All living things are products of evolution. Gradual changes have taken place over millions of years, and each species has evolved in different ways. Consequently, although our pets live in the same world as we do, they see and experience it in different ways. Dogs, for instance, live in a world of smells. They also hear much more than we do. But they are partially colorblind, and their lives are much grayer than ours.
It is important to realize that many of the amazing things that animals do are not psychic in nature, but are related to their different natural abilities.
Back in the first century c.e., Pliny the Elder wrote about the horrifying ability of the numbfish to paralyze anyone who came too close to it. This was seventeen centuries before electricity was discovered, and the numbfish's abilities must have appeared supernatural. Nowadays, the numbfish is called an electric ray. It is able to generate a ninety-volt, high-amperage current. This is powerful, but is nothing compared to the incredible 550 volts generated by the electric eel.
We, like other animals, respond to stimuli that are significant to us, and ignore many others. Other animals may have the same senses that we have, but use them in different ways and in different degrees, depending on their natural abilities.
Dogs and cats, for example, have far greater hearing abilities than we have. Cats have a hearing range of between sixty and sixty-five thousand cycles per second. Dogs can hear between fifteen and fifty thousand, while we humans hear at about twenty thousand.
It used to be thought that elephants communicated telepathically when they were in difficulty or distress. However, it is now known that they call to each other at a level well below what the human ear can hear. The hearing range of elephants is between five and eighteen thousand cycles per second. Consequently, they are able to communicate over long distances using infrasound that is below the hearing range of most animals. It begins with a low rumble in the elephant's throat, which is amplified by a hollow area immediately below the forehead and directed outward. Elephants who are miles away are able to hear it and come to the distressed elephant's aid.
Frogs have an extremely specialized sense of hearing. All they hear are the sounds of potential enemies or partners. This is all they actually need to hear. They find their prey using their keen sense of sight.
Animals frequently have much stronger senses of smell than we have. When a cat, for example, decides to make friends with a stranger, it will rub its face and body against the person's legs, depositing an odor that helps it to recognize the person in the future. Wild cats also rub against each other in the same way, gaining feelings of security from the scent of the group. Cats use special scent glands at their temples, base of the tail, and at the corners of their mouth to swap scents with us. Cats want the people in their lives to have a familiar scent. This makes them feel secure, and makes their humans feel wanted. Interestingly, cats will not rub themselves against people they do not like.
Dogs possess a remarkable sense of smell that they inherited from their wolf ancestors. Humans possess some five million olfactory sensory cells that we use to smell with. This is nothing compared to what dogs have. A dachshund has about 125 million of these cells, while a sheepdog has 220 million. A bloodhound's sense of smell is one million times stronger than ours.
When a human walks barefoot, he leaves one hundred-billionths of an ounce of sweat in each footprint. Any dog can track this tiny quantity with what appears to be supernatural accuracy. A bloodhound's sense of smell is so incredibly sensitive and accurate that it has the distinction of being the only animal whose 'testimony' can be used as evidence in United States courts. The dog's sense of smell is still the most effective way of locating people buried in snow avalanches. Sound detectors and other devices have a part to play, but are slow and cumbersome compared to "sniffer" dogs.
Some animals deliberately leave their scent in certain places to mark off their territory. Dogs, of course, do this with their feces and urine. Incidentally, dogs scatter the dirt with their paws after defecating. This is because they have sweat glands between their toes, and this action allows them to add another scent to the scene.
Ants travel in single file, following the scent left behind by an ant who has earlier found a source of food.
Salmon use their strong sense of smell to return to the river where they were born. They can sense the specific water, even if the river forks along the way. If they accidentally take the wrong fork they quickly become aware of it, and drift back downstream until they sense the smell again. They will then take the correct fork that leads them home.
The eyesight of many animals is much more acute than ours. Birds of prey are alert to the slightest movement in the landscape below them because they are using a much larger part of the spectrum of light than we are. There are even animals who can see the infrared part of the spectrum. The pit viper is an example of this. Even the humble goldfish has a vision that ranges from ultraviolet to far-red.
Many animals are sensitive to magnetic fields. This explains some of the incredible abilities of migratory birds, homing pigeons, honeybees, and even the lowly snail. This also explains how whales are able to travel thousands of miles in their annual migrations.
Magnetism is the explanation for the famous migration of some one hundred million Monarch butterflies from Mexico to Carmel in California each year. The insects who make the journey are several generations distant from the ones who migrated the previous year, yet they are able to return to a specific tree once occupied by their ancestor. Because their bodies contain minute quantities of magnetite, scientists believe that these butterflies are using a combination of the sun's position and the Earth's magnetic field to enable them to travel the two-and-a-half thousand miles to California each year.
Magnetite is also found in the bodies of many other animals, including tuna, turtles, birds, and mice. Research is still going on into the role of magnetite in so many different animals. Obviously the ability of these animals to detect the Earth's magnetic field is extremely useful to them.
Of course, this talent can sometimes be dangerous. It appears that mass whale strandings occur when whales get caught up in areas of low magnetism that lead from the sea to the shore. Apparently, whales use invisible magnetic contour lines as highways to travel along. Exactly how they do this is not yet known.
Animals communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Honeybees use a dance to tell the other bees where good sources of nectar and pollen can be found.
Although we cannot hear it with our ears, fish talk to each other incessantly. This was discovered during World War II when hydrophones were placed underwater to give advance warning of the approach of German submarines. To the surprise of everyone, a variety of groaning, clicking, and barking noises were heard. Until then, it was believed that the sea was a silent world. One evening in Chesapeake Bay, all the microphones recorded sounds that alerted the authorities. Huge quantities of depth charges were dropped into the bay. The following morning, no debris was found from any submarines, but the bay was littered with the bodies of dead fish.
Birds sing for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is to tell other birds of their location. At other times it is to advise the bird's mate about something. It may even be for some emotional reason that we do not yet understand.
Everything we have discussed here has been considered "psychic" at one time or another. However, it can all be explained logically. Consequently, we need to be careful when applying a paranormal explanation to the activities of any animal.
As humans, we tend to say that the remarkable activities of animals are simply "instinct." Many people find it hard to accept that animals have the power of thought, and can think, ponder, remember, imagine, create, make decisions, and act on them. Even the humble honeybee has this ability.
For some two hundred years, bumblebees have pollinated the alfalfa crops in North America. These bumblebees lived in the hedgerows and forest edges. However, as modern farming methods have virtually eliminated the hedgerows and forests, the bumblebees have been replaced by honeybees that apiarists are able to move from place to place.
Unfortunately, though, the alfalfa blossoms have spring-loaded anthers that flick the pollen onto the bees. This works well with bumblebees, but the small honeybees quickly learn that they receive a sharp jolt if they approach the alfalfa blossoms in the normal way.
Consequently, many honeybees ignore the alfalfa blossoms and search for nectar elsewhere. However, in areas where there is no other source of nectar, the bees have devised a system of removing the nectar from the side of the flower, which means they avoid the sharp flick from the anthers.
Is this thought or instinct? Obviously, the honeybees have learned from experience that they can be hurt, and even trapped, by the alfalfa. The obvious solution is to simply avoid the alfalfa blossoms. This is what they do when substitutes are available. However, the bees appear to have thought about the situation and developed an alternative method of extracting the nectar. Of course, there may be another, as yet unknown, explanation, but this seems to be a sign of intelligence andthought. If a bee has this ability, imagine the potential of your pet.
All of these are natural talents that different animals possess. However, animals also possess psychic abilities. For instance, many animals are able to telepathically communicate with each other. A pack of wolves hunting their prey are able to communicate their intentions to each other in an uncanny fashion. Each wolf seems to know what the other wolves are thinking as they plan and capture their prey. It is as if someone was watching from above and directing the entire scene. A school of fish will all turn simultaneously as if following a silent command. Flocks of birds operate in the same way. How do they know the exact moment and direction to turn in?
Animals are also able to use clairvoyance. How are animals able to find their way home over long distances in unknown places? Faced with a fork in the road, they unerringly choose the right one.
Josef Schwarzl, a San Jose mechanic, owes his life to the clairvoyant talents of Toby, his golden Labrador. One day, while working alone, Josef was overcome with carbon-monoxide fumes from a car's exhaust. At the same time, Toby, who was four miles away at home, suddenly became agitated and insisted that he be let out the front door. Josef's mother opened the door, and the dog immediately raced toward the garage where his master lay unconscious. Josef's mother followed in her car and arrived in time to call emergency. Josef recovered in hospital, his life saved by the clairvoyancy of Toby.
Precognition, or the ability to see into the future, is common with many animals. Dr. J. B. Rhine wrote that among his case reports of "unusual behavior" in animals there are a fair number of cases in which the reaction is taken to be premonitory."
A well-known example of this is the ability of rats to desert a ship that is shortly doomed to sink. How do they know? Animals usually know when an earthquake is about to occur. They may be able to learn of this through subtle changes that we are not yet aware of, but the ability of rats to know whether or not a ship will make it to the next port defies any explanation other than precognition.
Animals frequently know when a disaster is about to occur. Mr. A. H. Crowther experienced this when he received a phone call telling him that the Des Moines River was about to flood. He went to help a local farmer round up his pigs and cattle and take them to high ground. As they were doing this, they noticed a mother possum, with her young on her back, climbing up the hill. They then saw a woodchuck making the same trip. Shortly after that they saw a mother skunk getting her family away from the river. These animals were followed by a rabbit and a fat raccoon, all heading uphill.
In 1989, Jim Berkland, a geologist in Santa Clara County, California, predicted the Lomo Prieta earthquake. He did this using a variety of methods, including combining the statistics of tides with the positions of the sun, moon, and the Earth. However, his most useful method was observation of the number of advertisements for lost cats in the local newspapers. Berkland says that after a decade of observation, he has noticed that cats tend to disappear shortly before volcanic activity occurs.
The first recorded instance of animals behaving strangely before an earthquake dates back to 373 b.c.e. In that year, Helice, a city in Greece, was destroyed by an earthquake and fell into the sea. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus wrote that rats, snakes, weasels, centipedes, worms, and beetles had headed inland in huge numbers before the eruption.
Even the ancient Romans were aware that the behavior of animals changes before a major earthquake. Pliny the Elder commented on this in the second book of his Historia Naturalis: "Even the birds do not stay sitting free of fear."
If such information has been known for more than two thousand years, isn't it strange that scientists take such little notice of it? It is not as if the animals do not make their fear known. Before a 1783 earthquake in Messina, the howling of dogs in the street was so loud that the authorities issued orders to kill them.
It was the Chinese who were the first to successfully predict a major earthquake, using a variety of methods, but with special emphasis on animal behavior. The successful prediction of the Haicheng earthquake of February 4, 1975, proved once and for all that what had previously been considered superstition was in fact real. Unfortunately, the Chinese did not continue practicing what they had learned. On July 28, 1976, an estimated 655,000 people were killed in the Tangshan earthquake.
In his book When the Snakes Awake,, Helmut Tributsch lists a large number of recorded instances of unusual animal behavior before an earthquake. These include seabirds flying inland, chickens roosting late, cattle late or reluctant to enter their stalls, deer and other game coming out of the woods and even approaching people, ants becoming agitated, fish jumping out of the water, roosters crowing persistently at night, birds flocking together and circling, cats crying and disappearing, bears and snakes coming out of hibernation, and the sudden disappearance of flies.
This sort of behavior has been observed for thousands of years, and is another example of a talent that animals possess. If we humans ever possessed it, somehow we lost it over the last few thousand years. How do animals do it? At present, no one knows, although there are many theories. There are changes in the Earth"s magnetic fields before earthquakes, and many animals will be aware of these. There are also changes in the Earth's electrical fields. Some animals may be able to hear the very beginnings of an earthquake long before humans are aware that anything is wrong. Some animals may even be aware of movements in the Earth's crust. Others may be able to smell Earth gases. Perhaps these animals are using their natural precognitive talents.
The skills of telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition are also inherent in humans, even though many people try to deny them.
Two dogs, for instance, can communicate telepathically with each other. This is communication within a species. However, it is also possible for one species of animals to communicate telepathically with another species. This means that you have the ability to exchange telepathic messages with your pet. In fact, you have probably done thismany times already, without being aware of it. This book will teach you how to do it consciously in a way that will benefit both you and your pet. The relationship you have will be enriched and become even closer as a result.
My daughter's experiences with Clyde, our cat, are examples of this. Other examples include the eminent nineteenth-century actor, William Terries, who was stabbed to death in London. At the time of his death, his fox terrier, who was in Bedford, began running about, howling and yelping with rage and fear.
Probably the most remarkable instance that I have come across involves a dog called Hector. His case involves precognition as well as telepathy. He was observed at the Vancouver docks boarding four different ships. The next day, the SS Hanley left port for Japan, and Hector was found on it. The crew were delighted to have the dog on board, but Hector remained aloof. However, he became more animated when the ship neared Japan. The ship dropped anchor in Yokohama, close to a Dutch ship. A small boat was launched from the Dutch ship and Hector jumped into the sea and swam across to it. Hector's master was on this small boat. How did Hector manage to do this? First of all, he must have decided which of four ships to smuggle himself on to in Vancouver, and secondly, he somehow divined that the Dutch ship containing his master would be in port at the exact same time as the SS Hanley.