Back to Basics- Sleep
We all need our rest. Some of us are active during the day and some of us are active during the night. When an animal is active all depends on their lifestyle. Not all animals rest much and some rest many hours. We are going to learn some terms for all of these adaptations!
Nocturnal: being active at night. Animals that are nocturnal are primarily active during the evening and night and sleep during the day. Animals have many reasons to be nocturnal; it helps protect them from predators, their prey may be nocturnal too and it helps them avoid the heat of the day.
Aye-ayes are nocturnal animals. They forage for bugs in the trees at night.
Diurnal: being active during the day. Many animals are active during the day, including many reptiles who bask in the sun for warmth and energy.
Meerkats spend their days looking for grubs and sleep in their burrows at night.
Crepuscular: an animal is active during twilight- dawn or dusk. Many animals are most active during the dawn and dusk, like lions. These times are great to avoid the heat of the day. Also it’s a good time for animals who often are prey to hide in the darker light.
Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk.
Some fun sleep facts:
- Elephants only sleep around 3-4 hours a night. And yes we sleep standing up and so do horses!
- Brown bats sleep around 20 hours.
- Giraffes sleep only around 2 hours a day.
- Not all animals must rest in one large chunk. They can catch little naps here and there.
- Bats do sleep upside down.
- Dolphins and some whales are conscious breathers- they must think about breathing. When they rest/sleep they only rest half of their brain at one time so the other half can help them breath!
- Birds who spend most of their life soaring in the air, take power naps in short intervals!