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US Zoos Track What Animals Do During Eclipses

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The solar eclipse that occurs today will fascinate not only sky watchers but also animal behaviorists at numerous US zoos. Scientists will be keeping a close eye on a variety of species to see how they respond to the sudden darkness.

Building on findings from the 2017 total eclipse, scientists saw amazing animal behaviors, such as gibbons making loud noises, giraffes acting strangely, and tortoises engaged in unusual activity.

At the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas, Professor Adam Hartstone-Rose of North Carolina State University will serve as the team leader for a study on animal reactions. He identifies two major areas of interest: anxiety-related behaviors and circadian responses.

Vancouver, Canada, high school volunteers will help with data collection in an effort to find trends and better comprehend the animals’ responses. Among the animals to be observed are gorillas, flamingos, and lorikeets, who were also researched during the 2017 eclipse and are known for their fascinating behaviors.

A special focus will be on bonobo apes, which are noted for their intricate social dynamics and capacity for unusual responses. Eclipse events are being held by zoos across the country, including those in Little Rock, Toledo, and Indianapolis, to engage the public in animal studies.

Hartstone-Rose stresses the significance of comprehending animal reactions in order to reduce stress and improve welfare. Beyond its potential applications, he views the research as a window into the enigmatic realm of animal cognition and an opportunity to engage in a meaningful, group experience with our animal friends.

What do you think?

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