Imagine being wide awake at midnight and going through your normal day. Can you imagine eating lunch at midnight, going to school, playing with your friends, and talking to your family? That might seem odd to some of us, but to nocturnal animals, that's how they live their lives. Nocturnal animals are awake and active at night and then sleep during the day. Some nocturnal animals can be seen during the day, but most of them spend their whole day resting. Examples of nocturnal animals include bats, skunks, aardvarks, and owls.
Nocturnal animals sleep during the day for various reasons. Most nocturnal animals sleep during the day and are active at night in order to avoid predators that are active during the day. For example, sea turtles go to their breeding sites in order to keep themselves safe and protect their offspring. Most nocturnal animals live in the desert. So, not only are they trying to stay away from predators, they're also staying out of the hot sun during the day.
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Think about what it's like for you to go outside at night without a flashlight or streetlights to help you see. It can be quite hard. Well, animals that are awake during the dark hours of the night have highly developed senses, which make their bodies unique. Many nocturnal animals, such as bats and aye-ayes, a type of lemur, have special eye cells called rods. These rods help them capture more light when it is dark.
Additionally, the sense of smell is something nocturnal animals use as a way to track other animal's scents or to find food. The aardvark can hear and smell insects walking along the ground. That is some great hearing!
They also use their ears to hear their prey or other animals they may eat. Some nocturnal animals, such as bats, use what is called echolocation to see their environment with their ears. This means that bats make a high-pitched sound that bounces off nearby objects and helps the bat understand what's around them.
Other unique body adaptations nocturnal animals have include the owl's special feather lining on the edge of their wings that helps to make their flying quieter. When they can fly quieter at night, their prey cannot hear them.
Nocturnal animals are active at nighttime and then sleep during the day. There are many examples of nocturnal animals, including hedgehogs, foxes, owls, bats, and aardvarks. Since they are awake when it is dark outside, their bodies have adapted to help them survive. For example, they have very good hearing, sight, and smell in order to stay away from predators and also find their prey.
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In this activity, students will create collecting cards for their favorite nocturnal animals, similar to how people might collect baseball cards or Pokemon cards. For this activity, you can use blank notecards and colored pencils and markers, or you can help students do the activity on the computer in a drawing program.
For example, students might decide to make a fox collecting card. They would look up an image of a fox and glue it onto the card, and include fun facts about the fox, such as their excellent hearing, fluffy tail, or their ability to eat just about anything smaller than them!
Nocturnal animals have very cool adaptations to help them survive at night, and there are many examples, such as foxes, bats, owls, aardvarks, tarsiers, and more. In this activity, you're going to create a set of collecting cards that details some of your favorite nocturnal animals. Just like baseball cards or Pokemon cards, each card will have the name of the animal, a picture and three cool facts about it. You can use the internet to find the information you need. Make sure you make at least 10 different cards and they each meet the requirements below. When you're done, see if a friend wants to make a set too, then trade your cards to get the best set of animals!
Criteria for Success:
- Each card has the name of the animal
- Each card has a picture of the animal
- Each card has at least three interesting facts about the animal
- There are at least 10 cards in the deck
- Each card has the same overall layout, so they look like a set.
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Facts About Nocturnal Animals: Lesson for Kids
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