April 8 solar eclipse: 6 zoos on the path of totality — and why animals react strangely to ‘nighttime during the day’

Estimated read time 11 min read

When about half of the sun’s bright face is covered by the moon’s shadow, the light levels begin to drop noticeably. During the totality phase of a total solar eclipse, when all of the sunlight is blocked, the light levels crash. Suddenly, it’s like nighttime during the day — and this eerie phenomenon has just as big of an effect on wildlife as it does on humans. 

Some animals act strangely, while others simply go into nighttime mode. Diurnal animals, which are active during the day and sleep at night, prepare for bedtime, while nocturnal animals become active during totality. 

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