Solar Eclipse: A rare event, likely to disturb animals

If eclipses always attract the attention of men, animals are also not sensitive to them.
Behavioral disturbances have been observed in many species in the past.
This is a difficult phenomenon to study because of the very transient nature of eclipses.
On April 8, in North America, the Moon will be perfectly aligned between the Earth and the Sun.

North America will witness a rare total solar eclipse on April 8. A rare phenomenon, which it will be possible to witness, for example, from Niagara Falls. There, authorities are warning of a large influx of curious people and have prepared for it by declaring a state of emergency.

This astronomical phenomenon, which has been interesting and fascinating since the dawn of time, is of interest to the scientific community: especially animal experts, who report unusual behavior directly linked to the eclipse.

Notable disturbances have been reported in several species

During previous eclipses, there have been many reports of birds, insects and other animals disrupting their normal activities around the world. USA Today Thus reports several examples put forward by researchers through their observations. Inside the Zoological Park, “Pink flamingos gather in a circle around their babies to protect them”. Giraffes, for their part, “started running around their enclosure”When “Flocks of birds large enough to be visible on radar suddenly left the sky and perched on trees.”

Not all of them, since “The gorillas were moving towards their shelters, waiting for their last meal of the day”. Perhaps such an event since then also acts on the reproductive instinct “Galapagos Tortoises Begin Mating”. A skeptical professor of comparative anatomy at the University of North Carolina was forced to observe the eclipse effect: “I thought it was absurd, that animals would be affected”Before he admitted he had made a mistake, he affirmed.

  • Tourists in front of Niagara Falls, December 28, 2022.

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    Niagara Falls: Up to a million eclipse-seekers expected, state of emergency declared

The Canadian agency Science Press points out that the effects of solar eclipses on wildlife have long been documented. “The first known study is attributed to the Boston Natural History Society, which gathered volunteers to observe ‘animal life’ behaviors during an event in 1932.”We learn.

Certain cautions are warranted regarding these studies. The latter, in fact, has a series of limitations. First of all, the Science Press Agency says, “These are essentially short-term studies”, the sun is completely hidden for just two minutes. In addition, “They are intermittent – because total eclipses are rare and do not come back at regular intervals”. Finally, it works “Usually limited to observation of one group during one day”A limiting factor is given that a “A robust study of animal behavior should compare multiple species at multiple locations and during multiple eclipses”..

The expected eclipse on April 8 should allow continued research into animal behavior observed during these events. As Quebec’s chief scientist explains, certain puzzles persist. Biologists and doctors are questioning “The relative roles of light and the biological clock in behavioral modification”.. If the biological clock were the dominant variable, “An animal will be disturbed by a drop of light in the middle of the afternoon: the light will tell it that it is night, but its body will say that it is still daylight”. And on the other hand, if “Light was the dominant variable, it would automatically adopt “nocturnal” behavior during an eclipse”.


(TagsToTranslate)Life Science & Nature

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