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Volume 14, Number 23
December 12, 2008

nature

Also in this section:
All that howling and the higher and lower tides
Race to save Colombian bird habitat
Measles deaths down worldwide
Mexican sports fishery defense
Bush, Torrijos adminstrations teaming up to save the environment?



photo by Eric Jackson

All that howling --- and the tides!

The dogs were going nuts on the evening of December 12 and 13. Not only was it a full moon, but this was the closest a full moon has been to the Earth since 1993. The moon was only 221,560 miles away, as compared to its average 238,855. Because Earth's major natural satellite was closer than other full moons this year, it looked bigger to those of us on the ground.

On the Pacific oyster beds on the morning of December 12, low tide was a negative .25 feet and the following morning the tide tables projected a negative 1.06 feet (followed by high tides of 16.01 and 17.37 feet respectively). The low tide on the morning  of the 14th is predicted at -1.47 feet. What that adds up to in places like Las Uvas is the community turning out at the oyster rocks to gather the makings of tasty holiday season fare. The tides, of course, are caused by the moon's gravitational pull.

Do dogs really howl more on nights when the moon is full? Does the full moon drive people crazy? The legends, anecdotal evidence and scientific studies may conflict on this.

A team of Colorado State University veterinarians reported last year that admissions of dogs and cats to veterinary emergency rooms go up on nights when the moon is full.  Conflicting British and Australian studies came to radically different conclusions about human emergency room visits for dog bites when the moon is full.

Although many cops and psychiatric ward attendants will say that there is more weird behavior on nights when the moon is full, the scientific consensus is that a full moon doesn't induce mental illness. Of course, if you are already nuts, speak with a funny Transylvanian accent or went to the young Michael Landon's shrink....

Find a compilation of studies on human and animal behavior on nights when the moon is full here.


Also in this section:
All that howling and the higher and lower tides
Race to save Colombian bird habitat
Measles deaths down worldwide
Mexican sports fishery defense
Bush, Torrijos adminstrations teaming up to save the environment?


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