Abstract and Summary
We present a detailed analysis of patterns of wheel-running behavior surrounding the time of the Los Angeles Earthquake of 9 February 1971 for a group of 10 kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami). Our retrospective analysis of these fortuitously obtained data serves to identify a series of problems in the rigorous analysis of possible behavioral responses of animals to hypothetical geophysical stimuli generated prior to earthquakes. Our observation of a 5-day minimum of wheel-running activity preceding the earthquake is equivocal because of the uncertain influence of other kinds of transient disturbances unrelated to the earthquake. We urge a cautious interpretation of our data and offer suggestions for rigorous design of experiments and testing of hypotheses in future studies of this sort.