The behavior of the animals offers one of the most interesting side effects to be analyzed during a solar eclipse, and never before has it been possible to document it precisely.
Several citizen science projects described the reactions of the fauna to the visible Black Sun in the United States on August 21: the participation based on the iNaturalist app, developed by the California Academy of Sciences, was particularly felt, and the results were reported by some American websites . Through the app, around 2, 100 observations were collected on 350 different species.The oldest solar eclipse ever documented
Pet and courtyard fauna. If in the case of domestic animals - especially with cats - the personality of the specimen determined the observed behavior (with some cats remaining completely impassive in front of the event), for other creatures the reactions seemed more marked.
The hens have accused, more than the sudden darkness, the sharp diurnal drop in temperature: among those under observation, many have come out of their shelter, as happens in the evening, and in the shadow phase they have dedicated themselves to grooming, to then return covered when the Sun returns.
Let's leave the last word to the Accademia della Crusca
Insects. The cicadas increased their chirping just before the total darkness, and then fell silent in the dark phase, which instead saw active crickets, dragonflies and fireflies. Shortly after the end of the eclipse, business insider reporters in Los Angeles saw a swarm of bees crashing into the office window - perhaps bewildered by the return of light (below, the shadow cone of the Moon over North America, documented by NASA satellites).
The moon's shadow on Earth yesterday, from a million miles out in space … https://t.co/NorM56rYC0 pic.twitter.com/6GHTXvEjh1- EarthSky (@earthskyscience) 22 August 2017
Spiders and birds. In the past, in the minutes of darkness, some species of weaving spiders have been observed undoing their own canvases, and then starting again when the light returns (typically, these spiders rewind the cobwebs in the morning, when the Sun returns). Among the birds, the most common behaviors concerned the sudden change of song and the movement of flocks in mass.
A great confusion. Visitors to some zoos and nature reserves have reported about Nile giraffes and crocodiles that were particularly active in the dark, as well as crabs that gathered at the shore, certain () because of the darkness) of the distance of their predatory birds. In the past, chimpanzees have been observed gathering together to look towards the darkened Sun (a behavior similar to that of their human cousins …).
The flowers were no less. Some species that usually close again at night, such as the hibiscus or the hypomee, have partially closed during the darkness, only to reopen in the light.