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Diurnal and Nocturnal Animals. Diurnal Animals. Diurnal is a tricky word! Let’s all say that word together. Diurnal [dahy-ur-nl] A diurnal animal is an animal that is awake or active during the day. The following pictures are all of diurnal animals.

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diurnal animals
Diurnal Animals
  • Diurnal is a tricky word! Let’s all say that word together. Diurnal [dahy-ur-nl]
  • A diurnal animal is an animal that is awake or active during the day.
  • The following pictures are all of diurnal animals.
  • Can you think of another diurnal animal?
nocturnal animals
Nocturnal Animals
  • Nocturnal is also a tricky word! Let’s all say that word together! Nocturnal [nok-tur-nl]
  • A nocturnal animal is an animal that is awake or active at night.
  • The following pictures are all of nocturnal animals.
  • Can you think of any other nocturnal animals?
nocturnal animals1
Nocturnal Animals
  • Today we are going to be learning about Nocturnal Animals. Keep your Eagle Eyes open for some clues!
  • Nocturnal animals are active at night. During the day, these animals sleep or keep away from the sun.
  • It is not until the sun goes down, that these animals begin to look for water and to hunt for food.
  • Some nocturnal animals have special features that help them adapt to the dark.
big eyes
Big Eyes
  • To help them see at night, many nocturnal animals have very large eyes. Their eyes are special in that they let in more light, so an they can see better in the dark!


sense of hearing smell
Sense of Hearing & Smell
  • Nocturnal animals also have very good hearing and a strong sense of smell. This helps them find their way in the dark.




quiet movement
Quiet Movement
  • Cats are great hunters. They have soft pads on their feet so they do not make any noise when they are looking for food.




  • An adaptation is when an animal makes adjustments or changes, so it can have a better chance to survive in its environment.
reasons for adaptations
Reasons for Adaptations
  • The hot climate is a reason many animals adapt to the night. A frog has very sensitive skin and it will dry out under the sun’s harsh rays.

red eyed

tree frog

reasons for adaptations1
Reasons for Adaptations
  • Another reason nocturnal animals prefer the nighttime is that the darkness keeps them safe from other animal predators.

garden dormouse

  • Some animals are even equipped with a special adaptation that give them super hearing, such as a bat!
  • Bats use echolocation to find food! Bats have super sonic hearing. Bats use sound waves to find their food. The sound wave bounces off an insect and tells the bat where to fly!
echolocation facts
Echolocation Facts
  • Even if thousands of bats are using their echolocation at the same time, they can still fly and find food.
  • Humans can’t hear the echolocation sounds.
  • Most of the time bats use their mouth to send out echolocation sounds, sometimes they use their nose.

Class Echolocation Activities

  • Today we will watch a video on echolocation.
  • Later on we will also participate in an echolocation activity to better understand how echolocation works.

Diurnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals

Diurnal & Nocturnal Animal Sort

diurnal nocturnal worksheet
Diurnal & Nocturnal Worksheet

You will each get a copy of the diurnal and nocturnal animal worksheet. You will also get a set of animal cards. You will cut them out and glue them in the proper section. You must decide if the animal is a diurnal (daytime) or nocturnal (nighttime) animal. You may independently read when finished.