Nocturnal Animal Information
Nocturnal animals have a peculiar characteristic. They remain active during the night and sleep by the day. Owing to this, they generally have highly developed sense of smell, sense of hearing, and specially adapted eyesight. There are three advantages that nocturnal animals benefit from. They get to stay awake during nights, there is less competition for hunting, as there are very few animal species that follow this pattern, and due to the dark, they are protected from predators. They can also camouflage themselves well, to hunt for food. Nocturnal animal information will help us know more about the animals who hunt at night and a few facts about them.
Let us now look at a few nocturnal animals:
- Bats: Bats are flying mammals. They have webbed forelimbs that are developed as wings. They are the only mammals that are naturally capable of flying. They do not flap their entire forelimbs like birds, but flap their spread out digits. About 70 % of bats feed on insects, the remaining are fruit eaters and a few of them feed on animals, other than insects. The myth that bats are blind is not true. In fact, they have very good eyesight that they use to find mates and their cubs. They have a very good hunting mechanism. If they happen to locate a prey, or any danger, a high pitched sound is emitted from their mouth. This sound hits an object and returns to the bats' ears making a loud echo. The echo helps in understanding the objects size, location and speed. Bats are found in most parts of the world. They perform some very important ecological roles, such as pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds.
- Owl: Owls are common nocturnal birds. They have a lot of features for silently hunting at night. They have large eyes and good eyesight. They are one of the quietest, among all the other nighttime predators. They can turn their heads up to 180 degrees in each direction. It turns its head so quickly that one feels, the head has turned all the way round. They possess fringed feathers at the end of their wings. This helps in silent flight. They can camouflage in trees as they come in brown, black and tan in color. They prefer to live in the woods, around fields and farms. Many of them are cavity dwellers, who build their nests in the holes of dead trees. They mostly feed on small mammals like rabbits, mice, chipmunks and squirrels. They also eat snakes, insects, birds and frogs.
- Fireflies: Fireflies are carnivorous insects belonging to the beetle family. They are famous for their ability to make controlled flashes of light, but not all species make light. They use the flashes to attract mates. Different species of fireflies have different patterns of flash light. They also signal at different times of the night. Fireflies lay eggs under the soil, which takes up to 4 weeks to hatch. The larva is burrowed underground, where they spend the winter. As summer sets, they emerge from the soil as adults.
Apart from this scorpion, catfish, cockroach, cricket, koala bears, hamsters and badger belong to the nocturnal animal category. The list is too long, when we look at the nocturnal species. Nocturnal behavior is mostly seen in animals that live in areas which experience excess heat and the ones found in deserts.