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Jeruba's avatar

When it's this dark at noontime, do the animals get confused?

Asked by Jeruba (50460points) 1 month ago

Here we are at midday in the Bay Area, sci-fi-hellscape dark and getting darker:

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/smoke-ash-concoction-blankets-bay-area-clogs-air-and-earth/2360180/

Do crepuscular animals think it’s dusk? Do daylight animals go to sleep? In addition to whatever this horrible condition does to their respiration (which has to be worse than mine indoors), are their eating and sleeping cycles messed up?

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12 Answers

janbb's avatar

My DIL posted pictures and it truly looks horrible. I suspect all living creatures are confused.

Demosthenes's avatar

I saw some crows doing their usual crow antics this morning, but one thing I have noticed is fewer animals out. We have a lot of trees on our property, including oaks, and there are consequently many squirrels under normal circumstances as well as birds but looking out at the yard I see nothing. It’s weirdly still (and very orange).

Jeruba's avatar

There’s a squirrel that keeps going back and forth on the fence outside my window, pausing, and looking up over the neighbor’s roof to the north, and I swear he’s going “WTF? WTF?”

It’s darker and oranger than it was when I put this Q up half an hour ago.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. During a total eclipse, chickens go to roost.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s unbelievable. Perpetual twilight. Not even the pigeons are out. Weird shit!

Jeruba's avatar

And then, of course, you have our president, who basically said, “I told California they ought to rake their forest floors. They didn’t take my advice. So let ‘em burn, and maybe it’ll teach them a lesson.”

(And also they shouldn’t let all their water in the rivers just run into the ocean.)

Inspired_2write's avatar

I wonder if its because its dark out or else they sense things well ahead of time.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Jesus jumped-up Christ, he’s still on about that idiotic “rake the forest” shit?

JLeslie's avatar

I think the animals know something is wrong. I don’t think animals always know why though. I don’t think the fauna around me knows when a hurricane is coming during the calm before the storm. Maybe they know once the rain bands start to get really close together.

My guess is over time their sleep does become affected. One day of dark isn’t going to throw everything out of whack, but days on end will I would think. Part of their sleep cycle is for finding food and for safety, animals are more vulnerable while asleep. If they are carnivores then however their food source is reacting to the current conditions will likely affect their own reaction.

I wonder if they start migrating to try to get away from the bad air? Or, if they hunker down? I would guess the air close to the earth is better quality than 5 feet up where our faces are when we stand, assuming the animal isn’t right next to the fires.

Very difficult to think about the animals that get hurt during natural disasters. Very sad.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I once went to school at 7pm thinking it was 7am.

jca2's avatar

I believe when animals smell or see fire, their instinct is to run.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 I’m not surprised. You live in a place where the sun can set at 4 pm during school terms. If sunrise is at 10 a m, no one subject to napping dare make assumptions about the time beyond night and day.

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