Nocturnal animals are as their name suggests, are masters of the night. They spend their days sleeping and in the night they come alive. Because the animals that are nocturnal do not meet us at dawn, we rarely know them. So we have decided to take it upon ourselves to compile a list of the nocturnal desert animals as well as other nocturnal animals in other habitats. Many of these animals are astonishingly cute and others are well – read on.
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10. Eyelash Viper
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Not all animals that are nocturnal are cuddly. In fact, some like the Eyelash Viper are extremely dangerous to humans. They can be found in tropical environments in Southern and Central America and come in a broad variety of colors ranging from red to green, yellow to brown. They have their name due to the unique scales they have over their eyes. The venom of the Eyelash Viper is extremely fatal and they only hunt at night.
9. Flying Squirrel
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Flying squirrels fly in the most unique way – through the help of patagium, a membrane that is parachute shaped, stretching from the flying squirrels’ wrist to ankle. This helps them glide from one tree to another. Their long tails also provide assistance when flying. These nocturnal animals have continued to baffle scientists in search of a clear explanation for their ability to fly.
8. Desert Cottontail
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It is easy to understand nocturnal desert animals. The desert is simply too hot to fool around during the daytime. It is simply a lot easier to find a shade during the day and save up energy for dusk. The Desert Cottontail, as the name suggests, is one of such nocturnal desert animals. They are herbivorous nocturnal animals that feed mostly on grasses, forbs, leaves, twigs, acorns and fallen fruits.
7. Mountain Lion
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The pride of all nocturnal desert animals is the Mountain Lion. This predator sits atop the food chain. Mountain Lions, despite not being known to fight for and defend territory, naturally stay out of each other’s way. These nocturnal animals feed on the mule deer as its primary food.
6. Barn Owl
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The barn owl’s presence is ubiquitous to all continents, except understandably, Antarctica. They have a distinctively beautiful plumage and round face. Barn Owls are nocturnal animals that only hunt at night aided by their excellent eyesight and acute sense of hearing.
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Like the Barn Owl, not all animals that are nocturnal are rare. Some are right in our neighborhoods. The raccoon can be found in most wooded parts of Northern America. It is known for its excellent night vision, acute hearing, gorgeously thick fur and black facial mask which helps reduce sun glare. Raccoons feed basically on anything from eggs to insects, fish to fruits.
4. White-tailed antelope squirrel
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The White-tailed antelope squirrel can only be found active during the day when it is summer or late spring. Otherwise, they share traits with animals that are nocturnal by only coming out at night during the rest of the year. Though they cage food for emergencies, these nocturnal animals do not do so as much as the chipmunk and squirrel.
3. Red Panda
Image credit: National Geographic
Extremely rare, this Cat-sized Panda can be found in the Eastern Himalayas where it makes its home. Other common names for the Red Panda are Red Bear Cat and Lesser Panda. They spend their daytime sleeping on the branches of trees and at night time they come alive, coming aground to seek food. Thanks to the foraging for food at night, the Red Panda is able to avoid predators like the Snow Leopard.
2. Luna Moth
Image credit: Frairie Moon
The Luna moth, recognizable by its bright green wings, is a large nocturnal moth found in the North America’s forests. The wingspan of the Luna moth is approximately 5 inches. Luna Moths only come out at night. They are attracted to outdoor lights, which they are often found circling around. Young Luna moths feed on very diverse kinds of trees such as hickory, walnut, hazelnut and cherries. Adult Luna moths feed on nothing. Hence, whilst the average duration of the larvae stage of a luna moth is about 3-6 weeks, the adult Luna moth dies within 7 days.
1. Red Eyed Toe Frog
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This colorful frog is an inhabitant of various parts of central America with an impressive presence in Southern Mexico. The Red Eyed Toe Frog is identifiable by its red eyes and body color which is bright green. Red Eyed Toe Frogs spend almost all of their time during the day camouflaging amongst leaves.
There you go, a list of the most fascinating animals that are nocturnal. We love reading from you and will love to read what you think.