Intended for healthcare professionals


Do animals bite more during a full moon? Retrospective observational analysis

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 23 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1559

Whose behavior is changed by the full moon?

This report does not support the conclusion that "an association
exists between the lunar cycles and changes in animal behaviour and that
animals' propensity to bite humans accelerates sharply at the time of a
full moon." The only thing demonstrated is that more people experience
animal bites at the time of full moons. There are no data presented
regarding changes in animal behaviors that would place them in proximity
to humans and facilitate an altercation. Personally I enjoy going for
nighttime runs when the moon is waxing; in so doing I see raccoons,
skunks, and rats that I rarely see otherwise. Indeed, I offer the
following counter hypothesis: An association exists between the lunar
cycles and changes in human behavior, and this increases the opportunity
for humans to encounter animals that they would otherwise not have been
exposed to.

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 December 2000
David E Dassey
medical epidemiologist
Los Angeles County (Cal., USA) Dept of Health Services