How do eclipses impact animal behavior, and what observations have been made about changes in wildlife activity during these rare events?

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Is there any scientific evidence regarding this?

In: Biology

8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Animals have finely tuned circadian rhythms that respond both to sunlight and temperature. When the sun seems to disappear and the temp starts to drop at a time when it’s not supposed to, it can trigger all kinds of behavioral changes. Usually it’s just the animals starting to do whatever they normally do at night, e.g. fireflies glowing, but it’s also common for animals to display anxiety behaviors.

There is not a ton of research on this, since you can’t really create an eclipse as needed for your experiment, but there is some, for example: [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7222787/](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7222787/)

Anonymous 0 Comments

In general it is very hard to have conclusive scientific evidence or data for animal behavior during eclipses as eclipses occur on such a limited area of land and are very brief. There have been conflicting observations for certain animals and it’s not as if you can keep testing it over and over until you get conclusive data to make sure it’s caused by the eclipse or if it was a one off.

The only thing that could be said with some degree of certainty is nocturnal animals start to become active (such as crickets chirping) and diurnal animals stopping activity, such as birds stopping their songs. These are predictable and expected for the most part as this also happens at night.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Animals use daylight as a clock. For an animal like a chicken, they wakeup when the sunrises and goto roost when the sunsets.

During an eclipse they will run to their roosts and perch until it’s over.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Not specific to eclipses, but there was this post about [bees not being able to fly without daylight](https://www.reddit.com/r/Damnthatsinteresting/s/jo35pTYrrG).

I’m not a bee-ologist, I just remembered seeing the post.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

My observations are that they all go very quiet. All the normal chirping and quacking and stuff just stops. They’re not used to night outside of the normal routine, and animals do love a routine, so I bet it really freaks them out.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just anecdotal, but during this last one some birds made sounds that I have never heard a bird make before. You know those videos where someone makes up gibberish in another language but it sounds like the language, like that but with chirping.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Birds went crazy noise-wise and landed on the ground and walked around all confused during the eclipse a couple months ago – I was in Indiana.