The idea that a solar eclipse meant a demon was swallowing the sun shows up in eclipse folklore across the globe, and if you look at pictures of a partial solar eclipse, you can see why: It’s easy to imagine that some giant creature is slowly taking bite after bite out of the sun. In ancient China, the earliest word for eclipse, shih, meant to eat, and eclipses were believed to be caused by a dragon eating the sun. In Vietnam, the sun eater was a frog. For the Native American Pomo, it was a bear. In Yugoslavia it was a werewolf, and in Siberia a vampire.
It has been reported during many eclipses that many different animals are startled by totality and change their behavior thinking that twilight has arrived. You can explore this yourself with your own pets, or by watching local wildlife, especially birds.