Saturday, July 10, 2010

Worry of the Day

"Light pollution" is disruptive to many animals. A report from a convention on the problem:

Researchers presenting their work at Edmonton added further examples of species affected by brightness in various ways. Some, like the turtles and migrating birds, become visually bewildered, whereas others, such as voles, can have their circadian or seasonal rhythms disrupted by artificially lengthened days, leading to rising levels of stress hormones.

Speakers also showed evidence that frogs and snail larvae grow at different rates under natural and artificial light. Beach mice on bright shorelines may have to restrict the areas in which they forage, to avoid predators. Salamanders, too, are reluctant to leave their hideaways at night under the glare of artificial light, and certain bats won't fly in bright areas, which limits and lengthens their commutes to food.

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