Nocturnal Animals
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Nocturnal Animals

There are many types of Nocturnal Animals in the world, in this website I will tell you a few of these creatures and why they are Nocturnal.


Alligators are large, meat-eating reptiles that spend a lot of their lives in the water. They mostly live in fresh to brackish water, in swamps, marshes, canals, and lakes. Alligators swim very well, mainly using their tails to propel themselves through the water, and also using their webbed feet.
Anatomy: There are two types of alligators, the American alligator and the Chinese alligator. The American alligator grows up to 19 feet (3.5 m) long, weighing up to 600 pounds (270 kg). The Chinese alligator grows to be about 6 feet long (1.8 m).
Diet and Teeth: Alligators are nocturnal and feed primarily at night. Adult gators eat fish, birds, turtles, reptiles, and mammals. They swallow their prey whole. The alligator's conical teeth are used for catching the prey, but do not tear it apart. Alligators have about 80 teeth; when teeth are lost they regrow.


The Great Horned Owl is the largest owl in North America. It is sometimes called the cat owl. This widespread bird of prey lives in mountains, grasslands, conifer forests, deserts, chapparals, and many other habitats in North and South America. Its scientific name is Bubo virginianus (Genus and species). Its call is a far-carrying hoot. Anatomy: This owl is 18 to 25 inches (46-64 cm) long and has a wing span of 52 to 55 inches (1.3-1.4 m); its weight averages about 3 pounds (1.5 kg). The feathers of the Horned Owl are gray to brown to buff to black. There is a patch of white feathers on the brown chest (called a "gular"). The eyes are yellow with round black pupils. Large tufts of feathers on its head give this owl its name; they are neither ears nor horns, they are just feathers. Diet: Owls are carnivores (meat-eaters). The Great Horned Owl is mostly nocturnal (most active at night). Owls use a keen sense of sight to find prey in the dark (they see mostly in black and white). They also have an acute sense of hearing which helps in finding meals. Owls are stealth hunters; they can easily sneak up on their prey since their fluffy feathers give them almost silent flight. The Great Horned Owl hunts and eats mammals (like rabbits, skunks, woodchucks, mice, rats, and squirrels), birds (ducks, quail, and geese), and fish. The owl is at the top of the food web; it has no major predators. It sometimes eats its prey whole and later regurgitates the bones, fur, and feathers in pellets. Nest and Eggs: Great Horned Owls usually use abandoned hawk or heron nests. In each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time), females lay 2-3 white eggs. The eggs take 28-30 days to hatch; both parents incubate the eggs.


The Pyralis firefly (also known as the lightning bug) is a common firefly in North America. This partly nocturnal, luminescent beetle is the most common firefly in the USA. The Firefly's Glow: At night, the very end (the last abdominal segment) of the firefly glows a bright yellow-green color. The firefly can control this glowing effect. The brightness of a single firefly is 1/40 of a candle. Fireflies use their glow to attract other fireflies. Males flash about every five seconds; females flash about every two seconds. This firefly is harvested by the biochemical industry for the organic compunds luciferin (which is the chemical the firefly uses for its bioluminescence). Anatomy: This flying insect is about 0.75 inch (2 cm) long. It is mostly black, with two red spots on the head cover; the wing covers and head covers are lined in yellow. Like all insects, it has a hard exoskeleton, six jointed legs, two antennae, compound eyes, and a body divided into three parts (the head, thorax, and abdomen). Diet: Both the adults and the larvae are carnivores (meat-eaters). They eat other insects (including other fireflies), insect larvae, and snails.


The Sugar Glider is also known as the Lesser Flying Phalanger and the Short-Headed Flying Phalanger. This possum is an arboreal (tree-dwelling) marsupial that lives in forests and rainforests of mainland Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and some nearby islands. These social, territorial mammals live in small groups. During the day they rest in hollow trees, in nests that are lined with leaves. This large-eyed mammal is nocturnal; it is most active at night. The sugar glider has a life span of about 14 years. Its scientific name, Petaurus breviceps, means "rope-dancer with a short-head." Sugar gliders are phalangers, they belong to the family Phalangeridae (long-tailed arboreal marsupials with fox-like ears). Gliding (Volplaning): The sugar glider has two thin, wing-like flaps of skin that span from the fifth finger to the first toe on each side of the body. The membrane allows this small animal to glide long distances through the air, from tree to tree. Using its powerful hind legs, the sugar glider can launch itself from tall trees and glide (volplane) over 165 ft (50 m). The long tail helps steer and stabilize the animal during flight. The sugar glider lands on a tree, landing on all four legs. Anatomy: The sugar glider is about 8 inches (20 cm) long, plus a tail about the same length; adults weigh from 4 to 5.7 ounces (120-160 g). The coat is blue-gray with a dark stripe running along the back. The belly is pale-gray to cream-colored. The female sugar glider has a pouch in which her young (often twins) develop and eat (for about 70 days). Diet: The sugar glider is an omnivore (eating plants and animals). It licks sweet gum from the acacia tree, sweet sap from eucalyptus trees, nectar, and some small invertebrates (like insects, larvae, and spiders).

As you can see the world is home to many nocturnal animals, in many different places around. Whether it be outside your back door or across the world there are many far and wide.