What are the Effects of Light on Animals?

 What are the Effects of Light on Animals?

Light especially sunlight is not only responsible for providing energy to both humans and plants, but it also plays a critical role in powering the life of wild animals. Not only this, but animals’ mode of light is also changed with the presence of light.

Let’s analyze shortly how sunlight affects the animals’ health and how their life is affected by the presence of light. Here are some effects of light on animals:

How Sunshine Powers Wildlife?

Staying Warm

The body temperature of cold-blooded animals such as reptiles, amphibians, and fish is mainly dependent on how hot or cold is their environment. Their body soaks energy when the sun is out, keeping them warm while the absence of sunlight causes them to become sluggish due to energy conservation.

Food source for Herbivores

The animals which rely on eating plants, fruits, and flowers are indirectly affected by the presence or absence of light. The more the sunshine, the more the plants are able to photosynthesize, thus providing food to the animals. This ultimately causes them to lead a healthy life.

Energy Source for Warm-blooded Animals

The warm-blooded animals are able to regulate their own body temperature when there is limited availability of light. They consume relatively greater food quantity in cold temperatures to convert them into heat which keeps them warm. This helps them maintaining their health even when there is a shortage of food.

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Finding Prey

There are many animals that can see the infrared or ultraviolet light, helping them to find a source of food. For example, bees can detect the ultraviolet light that reflects from the petals of flowers from where they collect the nectar to build honeycombs. Similarly, other animals such as piranha can see the infrared light which helps to catch their prey.

Protection from Enemy

You might have observed the phenomenon of camouflage in some animal species. They change their color to either scare their predators or hide from them with the availability of light which affects the size of pigments in their body, creating different colors and pigments on their bodies.

Some Other Effects of Light on Animals

Shelter for Animal Species

Many species reside in trees or use plant materials to build homes such as nests or lodges. The sunlight has a direct impact on the growth of plants- the more the sunlight the greater the size of trees, ultimately providing residence to the birds and animals.


Light has a great impact on the migration of animals from one place to the other. Some species such as Euglena, and Ranatra, etc. move towards the source of light while others such as planarians, earthworms, slugs, copepods, and siphonophores, etc. move away from light.

Their speed of movement is usually dependent on the intensity of light. Many birds navigate with the help of sunlight while migrating from one country to the other.

Read more: Effects of Species Extinction on The Ecosystem


Animals e.g. bears eat in greater quantity during the hot season just to build up fat. This fat helps them later in the form of providing energy while hibernating in a cave, burrow, or hole.

Read more: The Effects of Pollution on Marine Life


Passionate about animals.

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