The absence of light causes the animals to change their behavior (Screenshot)
This year you will be able to see different eclipses, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) expects that on April 8 and October 14 of this year at least two of these phenomena will be recorded. In this type of event the animals are affected by the changes in the sky, the absence of light causes their behavior to be different from that of a “common day”.
Steve Portugal, an ecophysiologist and Professor of Animal Biology and Physiology at Royal Holloway, explained in his article for The Conversation that most animals structure their day based on light and dark cycles, which are regular and rhythmic.
“Animals can tell all this by the number of daylight hours they experience, but the cycles of the moon also strongly influence their behavior,” the British university explained.
The lunar cycles also influence the activity that the animals will have (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
The professor explained that the effect generated by solar eclipses affects the behavior of some arachnids, which begin to break their webs as soon as they perceive that there is no light outside.
Although this action is carried out every day, before night falls, the eclipse forces them to “work” double, since once the phenomenon ends they begin to carry out their web again.
Steve Portugal also explained that Zimbabwean hippos have been caught leaving rivers during a solar eclipse to go to their feeding grounds.
The academic explained that when the moon coincides with the perigee (the point at which the moon is closest to Earth) the light levels are around 30 percent brighter, this effect generates changes in animals such as geese. barnacles, which change their behavior.
“We discovered that the heart rate and body temperature of the geese increased during the night of ‘supermoons’, when they would normally be turned off at this time,” explained the academic.
During solar cycles, spiders begin to destroy their webs, believing that night has arrived due to the absence of light (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar/File)
Portugal explained that these animals did not react when this natural satellite was hidden by a heavy cloud and the night remained quite dark, so they concluded that bright light is the cause of these effects.
The biology professor explained that for centuries it has been believed that the moon influences human behavior and generated some changes in the birth rate, fertility, caused epilepsy among other beliefs, however Portugal explained that no evidence has been found to prove this.
Unlike this aspect, the professor from the University of London commented that this type of phenomenon does generate a very real confusion among wild animals, which is why his investigation should be carried out further.
Hippos have been captured leaving rivers during solar eclipses to go to their feeding grounds (Shutterstock)
Andrew Fazekas, a journalist for National Geographic magazine, explained that testimonies about changes in animal behavior go back centuries, one of the first being made in June 1239 by the Italian monk Ristoro d’Arezzo.
Solar eclipses are the ones that have the most repercussions on animals, due to the absence of light. “All the animals and birds were terrified; and wild beasts could easily catch, ”the Italian monk wrote in his report.
Fazekas explained that throughout history very picturesque scenes have been described when an eclipse occurs, which have been difficult to confirm, however modern astronomers have assured that wild and domestic animals have very evident reactions to eclipses.
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