Have you ever gone out in a forest at night? Is it all silent or is there a whole different ecosystem that flourishes after the Sun goes down? These animals that are active only at night are called nocturnal animals. They have special features that enable them to do so including eyesight adapted to low light, the ability to smell or hear prey even if they are not able to see it and a sleep cycle that allows them to remain active at night. By venturing out only at night, these animals can avoid a majority of predators, can escape from the high daytime temperatures and prey on other animals that are also nocturnal. Even though many people do not know about nocturnal animals, there are some true beauties hidden in the darkness of the night. Here we present to you a list of the most beautiful nocturnal animals.
Beautiful Nocturnal Animals In The World
1. Sugar glider
These distinctive nocturnal animals are found only in Australia and Indonesia and have the ability to glide from treetops using a membrane connecting their limbs. Their diet mainly consists of sugary fruits hence they have been named Sugar Gliders. They are inactive during the day and look for food during the night. They have large eyes and a keen sense of hearing to help them locate food. They are popular pets in some parts of the world. You can also read about strongest animals in the world.
2. Luna moth
This nocturnal moth is found in North America and is a large green colored insect with distinctive yellow stripes on the wings. It feeds only in the larval stage and the adults do not eat anything and die within seven days. Their only purpose is to mate. The larvae feed on leaves of various trees and are active only at night mainly because they have no defense mechanism against predators. Here, we have also listed few non-venomous snakes in the world.
3. Slow Loris
The Slow Loris is one of the slowest animals in the world who lives in the rainforests of South East Asia. They have very large eyes which give them superior eyesight at night. They live in trees and use their powerful long fingers to grip branches. They have human-like hands and brown fur. Like the Red Panda, they avoid coming to the ground during the day to avoid predators and forage only at night. They are omnivores and prey on smaller animals, insects and fruits.
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4. Red-eyed Tree Frog
As the name suggests, this frog has bright red eyes and a bright green body. It lives in the rainforests of Central America and parts of Mexico and inhabits small trees and shrubs. It is nocturnal mainly to avoid predators like snakes and larger rodents. The large red eyes are used by the frog to surprise predators and scare them away as it gives them the illusion that the frog is a very large animal.
5. Red panda
This is a highly endangered nocturnal animal which lives in the snow capped mountains of Eastern Himalayas in India, Tibet and China. It is about the size of a cat and has distinctive reddish brown fur with white marks on the face and ears. This creature however is not a true panda and has a classification of its own called Ailuridae. It lives in trees during the day and comes down to search for food during the night. This is mainly to avoid large predators like the Snow Leopard. The Red Panda is hunted for its fur which has drastically reduced their population.
6. Gray wolf
This is the largest species of wolf in the world and may weigh over 65 kilos. They are known for their silky grey fur and sharp features. They hunt in packs at night and use distinctive howls to communicate. This has generated the myth that wolves howl at the moon at night. However, the upward howl is only so that the sound may travel to the maximum distance. These howls can be heard as much as 16 kilometres away. They are not active during the day to conserve body heat and reduce exertion. It looks similar to dogs that can be categorised into largest dog breed, biggest dog breed and small dog breeds. Also, we have best guard dogs for security.
Raccoons are commonly found in North America and are seen during both day and night time. However, they hunt for food only at night. They may travel great distances in search of food and are omnivores eating anything from insects and small animals to fruits and eggs of other animals. It has bushy brown and beige fur which helps t to camouflage at night and has very good eyesight at night. They are considered pests because they invade households in search of food and may damage crops.
8. Barn owl
This nocturnal animal is found in all continents of the world except Antarctica in urban settings as well as in forests. It is usually white with brown and grey spotting to help it camouflage better. They can be easily recognised by their heart-shaped face that is found in very few owls. It is dormant during the day, resting in holes in trees and hunts only at night. It has several adaptations to help in this – it has excellent eyesight which helps it to see prey at night. The ears located outwards on the facial disk help in superior hearing. The large wingspan and jagged wing edges help in muffling the sound of its flight. It catches prey using its sharp talons and beak.
9. Eyelash viper
This venomous snake is bright yellow, green, red or brown coloured snake lives in the tropical rainforests of South and Central America. It secretes a hemotoxin i.e. venom that coagulates blood and stops blood flow, killing the prey. The snake gets its name from the eyelash like scales it has over its eyes, though snakes do not have true eyelashes. It lives on tree branches and hunts only at night. It is inactive during the day to avoid the intense heat and to hide from predatory birds. The venom of the eyelash viper is injected through its fangs when it bites and can also kill human beings. You can also read about dangerous animals in the world.
10. Indian flying fox
Bats are perhaps the most well-known nocturnal animals and despite having the ability of flight, they are not birds but mammals. The Indian Flying Fox is found in forests of China and other South Asian countries including India, Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal. It is a large and beautiful bat which is black in colour and has large eyes, a snout, claws and leather-like wings. It feeds only on fruits and unlike popular belief, do not drink blood. The sharp eyesight and keen hearing help the bat in locating fruit trees and avoiding other predators. You can also read about most dangerous amazon rainforest animals.
After learning about these beautiful nocturnal animals, the next time you go out during the night, keep an eye out for such beauties found near you. Nocturnal animals have many special adaptations that enable them to survive by hunting at night. It is years of evolution and interdependence in the food web that has led to the current patterns of foraging and predation.