Apr 1, 2024 - News

Ohio wants your help to see how animals react to the solar eclipse

A dog looks up while wearing protective sunglasses.

Some people even give their dogs protective eclipse glasses. Photo: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Are humans the only animals who get super worked up about eclipses? Next week is an opportunity to help scientists find out.

The big picture: There are reports that birds quiet, spiders tear down webs, and squirrels retreat to their dens. But most of the information we have on wildlife behavior during a total solar eclipse is anecdotal or based on observations of captive animals.

  • The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is hoping to crowdsource observations about how animals react when the sky suddenly darkens.

What they're saying: "We're asking people to make observations 30 minutes before totality, during, and 30 minutes after," Jen Dennison, an education and outreach manager with ODNR, tells Axios.

  • "They could be sights, sounds, and smells — anything that shows that there could be some kind of behavior change that we're not expecting."

Zoom in: The state is collecting the observations via the app iNaturalist.

What to expect: Officials suggest making some practice observations before the big day, but otherwise participating shouldn't require much preparation.

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