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Nebraska ecologist wants to observe animals during eclipse

Nebraska ecologist wants to observe animals during eclipse
An annular solar eclipse is seen in the sky over Yokohama near Tokyo Monday, May 21, 2012. The annular solar eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges, was visible to wide areas across the continent Monday morning. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) _ An ecologist in Nebraska is encouraging people to observe the behaviors of animals during the rare total eclipse.

The Grand Island Independent reports that the moon’s shadow will darken Grand Island for nearly three minutes at about 1 p.m. on Aug. 21 as the Great American Total Solar Eclipse makes its way through town.

Rick Schneider is the program manager and an ecologist for the Nebraska Natural Heritage Program of the Nebraska Game and Parks department. Schneider says he knows of no specific studies done on how a total eclipse impacts the circadian rhythm of an animal.

He says the eclipse is a good opportunity to observe wildlife and pets to see if the loss of sun at midday has any effect on their behavior.

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