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As humans encroach more and more on wildlife habitats, animals are finding that the best way to survive isn’t to pack up and move—it’s to embrace the night life. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which shows that a variety of previously diurnal animals such as foxes, deer, and boars have become nocturnal to avoid human activity out of fear. But this nighttime switch comes with its own risks.
To conduct the work, researchers analyzed 76 studies that looked at how 62 species of mammals on six continents—from opossums to elephants—changed their behavior in response to human activities such as hunting, farming, and development. The studies utilized various technologies to follow the animals, from GPS trackers to motion-activated cameras.
Night - Falls - Animals - Humans - Dark
Once night falls, the animals surveyed became far more active than they were before humans arrived, hunting and foraging in the dark. For example, mammals that used to split their activity evenly between day and night typically increased their nighttime activity to 68%, the team reports today in Science.
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