The Solar Eclipse: Watch Out for the Animal Kingdom

The Solar Eclipse will take place on August 21st

FARGO, N.D. —The highly anticipated solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21st.

Certain theories suggest an eclipse can cause major changes in animal behavior.

“There’s a lot of historic reports on animals behaving oddly during solar eclipses, especially if they’re in totality,” says Red River Zoo Executive Director, Sally Jacobson. “We’ve heard stories in the past of cows thinking it’s night and going back into their barn or frogs starting to croak or crickets starting, all sorts of things like that.”

Although North Dakota may not be the best spot for watching, Jacobson said even a partial solar eclipse may cause some disorder or changes in animal behavior.

“The theory is that when all of a sudden day becomes night that animals might behave as though they would when it is night time,” said Jacobson. “Now, of course, they do have their own inner–biological mechanisms that let them no ‘nope, it’s still noon.’ So my guess would be, you’re going to see maybe some slight confusion, maybe you’ll hear something like crickets. Wouldn’t that be great to know and see?”

Jacobson said if you want to see the most change during the solar eclipse, the best seat in the house might be right next to the chicken coops.

“If you were to see something I would guess that it would be one of those animals that relies more heavily on light as a sense, so birds, chickens, roosters, those kinds of animals,” said Jacobson. “Maybe they might become a little bit confused.”

Jacobson also said changes in smell or diet can affect animal behavior, so whether it’s big or small, this phenomenon may spark a reaction in creatures of all sizes.

California researchers want to hear how your animals or pets react to the solar eclipse.

You can download the app iNaturalist and document the changes you see.

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