How animals might react to historic solar eclipse - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

How animals might react to historic solar eclipse

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

All eyes will be on the skies August 21st, as the U.S. will see its first total eclipse since 1979.

And while some have been preparing for months or even years for the event, there's another group that will be caught off guard by the sudden change.

Animals, especially wildlife, have evolved to live in light and dark cycles, so scientists say the sudden onset of night may create some odd behavior.

Experts say birds may stop singing, some animals will look for dinner, and more will likely just go to bed.

But their exact reactions are largely still unknown.

“There are more peer-reviewed articles on the existence of the Sasquatch than how an eclipse impacts animals,” said Dr. Adam Hartstone-Rose, associate professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the University of South Carolina. 

That's why scientists will not only be studying the sun during the eclipse, but animals as well.

And they're asking for your help. 

One study, conducted by the California Academy of Sciences, is asking people who will already be out for the eclipse to take note of animal behavior in their area as well.

They say it's as easy as downloading the iNaturalist app in the Apple Store or Google Play, observe what's going on around you, and put that data into the app.

Pets are less likely to be impacted by the eclipse.

That's because most animals have adapted to human schedules, so they're less likely to react to the sudden change in lighting.

But large groups and events may spook them.  They might also look towards the sun if a lot of people are looking and pointing.  

Experts say it's best to keep your pets inside or find glasses for your dog, so the eclipse doesn't damage their eyesight.

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