Think humans are at the top of the food chain? Not quite, in parts of Africa. Lions have attacked over 1000 people in Tanzania in the last 20 years. Two thirds of those attacks were ___1___, and the victims were eaten. But there does seem to be a way to lower the risk of becoming dinner—avoid going out before moonrise on the nights following the full moon. So says a study in the journal Public Library of Science One. [Craig Packer et al, Fear of Darkness, the Full Moon and the Nocturnal Ecology of African Lions]

Researchers ___2___ the timing of nearly 500 of those lion attacks against the phases of the moon. And they found that the odds of being ___3___ by a lion were highest on nights following the full moon—nights when the moon rises late, providing hours of darkness for lions to ___4___.

And previous studies have found that the fatter the moon, the slimmer the lion. Probably because the bright nights make hunting harder. So lions are hungriest around the full moon too—and more willing to ___5___ two-legged prey, as soon as they're provided the cover of darkness. The authors speculate that humans may be afraid of the dark because this situation has long been true. Seems like a bit of a stretch. But you won't find me strolling the Serengeti after a full moon.
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人类处于食物链的最高级么?在非洲某些地区可就不一定了。过去20年间,坦桑尼亚地区的狮子袭击了1000多人。2/3的攻击都是致命的,遇袭的人类也就成了狮子的盘中餐了。不过,要降低成为狮子盘中餐的方法还是有的——满月之后那几晚月出之前千万别出门。《公共科学图书馆•综合》上的某篇报道如是说。 研究人员根据月相盈亏绘制出进500头狮子发动攻击的时间表,他们发现,满月之后的几个夜晚被狮子吞食的几率最高——这几晚月出比较晚,这也就为狮子们趁天黑埋伏突袭提供了好几个小时的时间。 之前有研究表明,月亮越大月圆,狮子就越瘦弱。可能明亮的夜晚给狮子猎食带来比较大的困难,因此,满月前后也是狮子最饥饿的时候——也就最可能在夜色掩护下对人类下手。笔者推断,人们怕黑,是怕被狮子猎食。虽然看似言过其实,不过我可不会傻到满月之后在赛伦盖蒂平原上瞎逛送死……