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Facts About Nocturnal Animals: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Nocturnal Animals
  • 1:05 Special Adaptations
  • 2:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Anna Reinking

Anni taught elementary school for eight years and is currently teaching college. She received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Animals who are awake at night and sleep during the day are called nocturnal. In this lesson, you will learn about nocturnal animals, including why they sleep during the day and where they live.

Nocturnal Animals

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.

Special Adaptations

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.

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