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A science experiment of their own: Fort Worth Zoo, Dallas Zoo prepare for total solar eclipse

North Texas zoos prepare to see animals react to the total solar eclipse
North Texas zoos prepare to see animals react to the total solar eclipse 02:14

NORTH TEXAS - A total solar eclipse is going to make its way above the U.S., including a large portion of North Texas, on April 8

According to NASA, a total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. If you're located in the path of totality, the sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk.

Totality begins in Fort Worth at 1:40 p.m. and ends at 1:43 p.m. while it will begin in Dallas at 1:40 p.m. and end at 1:44 p.m.

While many of us are getting ready and preparing for the event, have you thought about how animals might react to the sudden darkness?

North Texas zoos are preparing for the unpreparable - how animals will react to the eclipse. 

For example, there are African crested porcupines at the Dallas Zoo who spend most of their days in their dark, cozy dens.

"It'll be interesting to see them come out when it's dark, then four minutes later [when the sun comes back out], see how they react," Christine Montgomery, the Dallas Zoo's manager of applied behavior said.

Fort Worth Zoo's Associate Mammal Curator Melissa Blair says they don't anticipate the animals to look up or act differently during the nearly four minutes of darkness.

"They may be a little curious," she said. "We'll have staff throughout the park so if any of the animals act a little off or confused, we'll shift them off the exhibit."

Both of the zoos are inviting North Texans to watch the eclipse with them. 

The Fort Worth Zoo is working with a researcher to help record what animals do during the eclipse. They will be passing out worksheets for zoogoers to participate in the research.

If you buy your tickets in advance from the Dallas Zoo, you will also get a pair of eclipse glasses. The zoo will also offer eclipse-themed food - like moon pies and eclipse-eroni pizza.

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