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Do animals get seasick? © iStock

Do animals get seasick?

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Motion sickness has been shown in some animals in various forms... Try asking a fish!

Asked by: Paul Verrinder, Birmingham

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Motion sickness in general is caused by a conflict between visual information and the organs of balance, and occurs to a greater or lesser degree in all the higher vertebrates. Some animals, including rats and horses, are unable to vomit but will feel the nausea and distress of seasickness nonetheless.

Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton took ponies with him and recorded in his diaries that they suffered terribly during stormy weather on the way there. Even fish in tanks can show signs of distress during rough sea crossings, though this is probably more to do with vibrations in the water than visual disorientation.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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