Lions attacking people in the Moon


22/07/2011

As you know full moon - this time wandering werewolves and heart-rending howls of wolves, but a new study found that in the days when the full moon reaches its maximum brightness in the sky, more is to be feared nocturnal predators.

African lions are more likely to attack humans, killing them in the days after the full moon, according to the data analysis, published July 20 in the journal PloS ONE. The danger exists in this period, as the Lions are furious that it becomes harder to catch prey, which sees an approaching predator, while the bright full moon nights. Within 10 days after the full moon, when the moon begins to wane, it’s time to start the darkest nights. So, anyone who has not yet had time to get home before dark, can easily become a victim of a very hungry wild cats.

"The number of attacks on people in the evening grows rapidly during the first five days after the appearance of the full moon" - said researcher Craig Packer (Craig Packer) from the University of Minnesota agency LiveScience. "It’s quite scary."

For people in Tanzania, where Packer and his colleagues conducted their study, the risk posed by the lions are very real: more than 1,000 people in southern Tanzania were attacked by lions between 1988 and 2009. More than two-thirds of all attacks were fatal, when the lions ate their victims.

Earlier research has shown that the bright moon causes interference to hunt lions on the wildebeest or other victims. Since the attacks of lions on people is an important problem in Tanzania, the researchers sought to determine whether the subject lions preying on people to change the lunar cycle. The research team analyzed data from 500 cases of attacks of lions in Tanzania since 1988, except for those that were without dates or those that occur when people are themselves hunted by lions. For each attack, researchers noted the time of day and time of the month.

As a result, they found a pronounced effect of moonlight: the cases of attacks were common in the 2-4 times within 10 days after the appearance of the full moon, compared with 10 days before the onset of the full moon. The time of year was also significant. At night, illuminated by bright moonlight during the rainy season, when the night sky more often overcast, lions attack occurred three times more often than during the nights of the full moon-lit light, but during the dry season, when rain is rarely more vibrant and night.

Most cases of attacks had on the early evening hours, as noted by the investigator. People are most commonly found outside the home in the evening, as explained by Packer, so therefore they become more susceptible to the attack of wild animals.

"If you went out into the street in the evening and saw the full moon on a beautiful sky, you know this is the safest night" - said Craig Packer. "But it is also a full moon in the sky heralds the imminent arrival of dangerous dark nights."

For information on the example of Tanzania can expand understanding of why people are so often afraid of the dark and supernatural forces of the full moon. "These nocturnal, stealthy predators rely on darkness to attack the people," - said the researcher. "The moon seems to have exerted a strong influence on our evolution."

Original: LiveScience Translation: M. Potter


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