Solar eclipse impacted our animal neighbors too

The eclipse was memorable for humans across the region, but it also impacted the animals, sending some into hiding and silencing birds.

Chances are you have heard about or even had the opportunity to observe the total eclipse that happened on April 8 this year. 

I enjoyed watching the rare event from the safety of my eclipse glasses. It was incredible to see the entire sun become covered over by the moon and the Earth slowly disappear into a world of darkness. 

The eclipse did not disappoint humans on Earth, as many individuals reported becoming quickly sleepy. Humans were not the only ones to be impacted by this rare event; animals across the globe were recorded acting extremely unusual during the eclipse as well. 

The animals recorded included a wide diversity of pets, wildlife, and even livestock. In the Green Mountain State, a variety of livestock was recorded preparing for their night regiment once the eclipse started. 

Chickens were reported running to the coops to stay together in their huddles. Cattle were also recorded walking into their pastors ready to rest up from the surprisingly quick day. 

Other animals like pigs and sheep were also observed displaying the same type of behavior. Many people around the area stated that once the eclipse hit, many birds suddenly went quiet. 

Though, for wildlife, the observations were very hard to record because there are so many different species, and the time to record is quite short. 

When it came to pets many people did not notice too much of a difference in their animal companion’s behavior. Before the eclipse took place, some researchers suggested shutting off the lights during the total eclipse period to make the pet feel more relaxed. 

Some pets like cats or dogs reacted with confusion and stress across the state and country. Some may have been so stressed that they started panting or pacing. However, experts from USA Today suggest that a lot of people’s pets’ reactions resulted from the owner’s reactions to this extraordinary event, not the event itself. 

I think it is extremely special that such phenomena can affect both humans and animals in unique ways. In my opinion, this experience shows us how amazing animal behavior is. In addition, how similar it is to human behavior. 

This is just another connection between you and the world of animals that you share Earth with. We may be different physiologically, but we do share a lot of the same psychological behaviors with our animal neighbors!

– Gavin Bradley

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