Here in Toronto (the largest city in Canada) the sun currently rises at around 8 AM and sets just before 5 PM. In the month of December, therefore, Torontonians only get roughly 9 hours of sunlight. This of course changes in the summer, where the sun will rise at around 6 AM and set at around 8 or 9 PM. Yet for now, the daylight hours are fleeting.
Since Havana’s enclosure is in Thomas’ office, which is above ground and has white drapes that allow the sunlight to diffuse into the room, Havana is able to perceive when the sun is out and when it has set. Interestingly enough, her sleeping patterns have actually changed along with the shortened days. For the past few weeks, I’ve been noticing her getting up earlier and earlier. Two days ago, she got up just after sunset, at around 5:30 PM. Yesterday, she woke up about 10 minutes before the sun had completely set, at around 4:50 PM. Although she wakes up earlier, she also sleeps earlier to accommodate the early rising, and I’ve noticed her taking a few naps while being outside her hide on a few occasions.
None of this is particularly worrying from a pet owner’s standpoint. She looks very healthy and is very active, as is her regular behaviour. Yet it’s interesting from a biological standpoint, because it shows that although snakes do sleep through the morning, they still take cues from the sunlight as to when they should wake up. Otherwise, Havana would not be waking up earlier, and would simply have continued getting up around 8 or 9 PM.
One of the most interesting perks to having a pet is being able to observe it and discover how it interacts with its environment. Every living thing is impacted by its surroundings, and it can be fascinating to discover some of the similarities and differences between animals and humans in terms of how each species copes with the changes in its environment.