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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nocturnal and Diurnal

I've mentioned before that my teenage son Nick is a HUGE animal lover.  He loves to read any animal-related nonfiction that he can get his hands on, and often shares information he's learned with the rest of us.  Two words that we hear quite a bit at our house are nocturnal and diurnal.

Nocturnal [nok-tur-nl] is an adjective meaning "of or pertaining to the night".  When talking about animals, it refers to those that are active at nighttime -- bats, owls, wolves, and more.

Diurnal [dahy-ur-nl] is the opposite of nocturnal.  It is also an adjective, meaning "of or pertaining to the daytime". Diurnal animals (most birds, for example) are active by day.

Here are a few sample sentences, using the words:

Because they are nocturnal, 
bushbabies have very large eyes; 
this feature helps to compensate for the 
lower levels of light during their waking hours.

Have you ever been on a nocturnal hike, 
with only the moon and a flashlight to light your way?

Her diurnal routine always begins with a shower.

At sunset, diurnal creatures can usually 
be found settling into their nests and burrows.

What other things can you think of that are either nocturnal or diurnal?

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