6 Difference Between Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals (With Table)

Animals are either nocturnal or diurnal due to various factors. The factors include the availability of food, mating, danger from predators. They make animals survive hence developing different mechanisms in order for them to survive at a different biological clock.

The main difference between nocturnal and diurnal animals is that nocturnal animals are the animals that are most active during the night time while diurnal animals are animals that are most active during the daytime.

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Comparison Table (Nocturnal vs Diurnal Animals)

Characteristics Nocturnal Diurnal
Meaning Refers to animals that are active during the night. Refers to animals that are active during the day.
Cells in Retina They have few or no cone cells but have a lot of rod cells in their retina which results in good night vision. They have a lot of cone cells resulting in good daylight vision.
Color vision Most of them are colorblind. They are able to see colors.
Communication They mostly communicate with sounds. They use a combination of more methods but the vision is more vital.
Senses They have special senses which are active at night. The best function during the day.
Examples They include bats, owls, leopards, and many reptiles. They include; humans, birds, cows, and many more.
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What are Nocturnal animals?

Nocturnal animals are animals that are most active during the night. They are well adapted to survive in dark conditions. Their bodies are structurally modified and have powerful senses such as hearing, smell, sight. Some nocturnal animals have an additional sensory system. For example, frogs have skin that is sensitive to light rays.

Many nocturnal animals are sensitive to infrasound, wind direction, air pressure, and storms. Nocturnal animals have large pina to collect all sound to perceive their ears hence powerful hearing ability. They use sounds to communicate with their group members.

Nocturnal animals can only do their tasks at night. Animals such as bats. The animals usually have bigger eyes as compared to their bodies and heads. For example, an owl.

What are Diurnal animals?

Diurnal animals are animals that are most active during the day. They do their tasks during the day and rest at night. They have various adaptations that enable them to do their tasks during the day other than during the night,

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Many diurnal animals are inactive during the night because their body temperatures drop at night. The more pronounced sense in diurnal animals is the sense of sight. They have more cone cells in the retina than the rod cells that make them have good color vision during the day.

Many ectothermic animals are diurnal. They increase their body temperature with the increase in heat. Many herbivores are diurnal animals as the plants generate more food during the day using light energy from the sun.

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Main Differences between Nocturnal and Diurnal animals

  1. Nocturnal animals are animals that are most active during the night while diurnal animals are most active during the day.
  2. Nocturnal animals have few or no cone cells in their retina while diurnal animals have a lot of cone cells that enable them to have good vision during the day.
  3. Nocturnal animals communicate mostly by sounds while diurnal animals use a combination of more methods to communicate although vision is the vital one.
  4. Nocturnal animals have special senses which are active during the night while diurnal species are the best functioning during the day.
  5. “Diurnal” comes from the word “diurnus” meaning day while “Nocturnal” comes from the word “nocturnus” meaning night.
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Similarities between Nocturnal and Diurnal animals

  1. Both animals have senses.
  2. Both animals have bodies that are modified to either be active during the day or night.
  3. Both animals communicate with other group members although in different ways

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In Conclusion

Nocturnal animals are animals that are mostly active at night. Diurnal animals are animals that are most active during the day. These groups of animals are created due to various factors. The factors include; availability of food, mating, and keeping away from their predators. The main feature that makes nocturnal animals be different from diurnal animals is the time in which they are active.

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