Saturday, 9 November 2013

Nocturnal Animals Take Chances On Moonlit Dinners

(ISNS) — Small nocturnal mammals surprisingly forage more on bright, moonlit nights when they can spot predators more easily, new research suggests.

Out in the wild, eating is risky business. Stepping out to grab a bite raises an animal’s chances of becoming another animal's meal. Nocturnal animals also calculate their eat-or-be-eaten chances by how bright the moon is. A full moon might make it easier for predators to spot them – or for them to spot lurking predators.

Ecologists have often assumed that on moonlit nights, large predators have an advantage over their tiny prey, according to Laura Prugh, an ecologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and author of the new study published last month in the Journal of Animal Ecology.

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