Amazing Animal Reactions During Solar Eclipses

During today’s eclipse in North America, scientists aren’t just watching the sun. They’re also curious about how unique animal reactions, like cats, birds, and fish, behave during this special event. The study is unique and mind-boggling to witness.

During a solar eclipse, when the sky turns dark, not just humans are captivated by the spectacle. Surprising changes in behavior have been observed in animals, ranging from giraffes to spiders to whales. The study of animal reactions to such events is a complete list of surprises.

Experts remind us that as millions of people prepare to witness the rare event of a total solar eclipse crossing parts of North America, animals will also experience the dramatic changes in the sky.

Animals react to eclipses in a variety of ways, depending on their species and instincts. Here are some common reactions:

  • Following their usual nighttime routines: Many creatures that are active at night, like owls, bats, and insects, become more active during a solar eclipse as the day darkens. They may start calling, hunting, or flying around.
  • Seeking shelter: Some animals, like fish and spiders, may become confused by the sudden darkness and seek shelter.
  • Showing signs of anxiety: Some animals, particularly those that rely on the sun for navigation or foraging, like bees, camels, and reptiles may become anxious or disoriented during an eclipse.

During eclipses, insects become more active, dairy cows return to their barns, crickets start chirping, and birds either roost or become more energetic. Even whales have been seen breaching in the seas during eclipses.

Intriguing Experiments

Jamie Wallace, owner of Safe in Austin, a rescue ranch for abused and neglected animals, is preparing her 200 animals for the eclipse. She also anticipates the smaller animals seeking shelter, fearing predators, while others might become anxious.

Similarly, Adam Hartstone-Rose, a professor of biological sciences, plans to study animal behavior at the Fort Worth Zoo during the eclipse. Following a study during the 2017 eclipse, which showed varied reactions among different species, Hartstone-Rose aims to expand his research.

His team welcomes observations from people across the eclipse’s path through a project called the Solar Eclipse Safari. They hope to learn not only which animals react to the eclipse, but also how they react and what extent of darkness triggers their response.

So, the next time you witness a solar eclipse, take a moment to observe the animals around you. Who knows what secrets they might reveal about the natural world!

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