Nocturnal Animals with Classifications Summary Ben Teyechea’s 4th Grade Skunks Toads Scorpions Fireflies Click on the icon Bats for information Coatimundis Tarantulas Owls Coyotes Arizona Tree Frog Catfish Mountain Lions Quiz Standards References
Nocturnal AnimalsWhat are nocturnal animals?Nocturnal animals come out atnight. They live in woods andother quiet places. They movearound and feed while we sleep.Can they see at night?Many nocturnal animals havepoor eyesight. They rely on othersenses like touch, feel and smell.Except for Owls, they haveexcellent night-time vision.Can they hear well?Nocturnal animals often needtheir ears more than their eyes.Where can we see nocturnalanimals?Most people dont see nocturnalanimals very often. We areusually sleeping when they areout.
ToadsAMPHIBIANSToads spend the early part of their lives under water (as eggs and tadpoles) and the remainder on land. These nocturnalanimals hunt at night and spend the day sheltered in a cool spot.Anatomy: Toads have poison glands behind their eyes, a chubby body, and shorter legs than frogs. Toads have noteeth, and most toads have warty skin. The largest toads are over 8 inches long. Females are larger than males.Life cycle: Like all amphibians, toads must return to the water to lay their eggs. Toad eggs are laid in the water. Whenthey hatch into tadpoles, they breathe with gills and swim using a tail. As they mature, they lose their tail, and theydevelop lungs for breathing air.Diet: Toads eat insects and other small animals, catching them with their long, sticky tongue.
SkunksMAMMALSSkunks are the smelliest mammals. These small, nocturnal animals are found in South and Central America andmuch of North America.The Spray: Skunks produce a very smelly spray that repels most predators. This oily, yellow liquid is produced intwo glands located under the tail. They can spray up to 10 feet away. The smell is long-lasting and very hard to getrid of.Anatomy: Wild skunks are black and white, but the patterns vary. They all have a bushy tail, short legs, clawedfeet, and a long snout. Domesticated skunks have a variety of coat colors and patterns.Diet: Skunks are omnivores; they eat insects, rodents, reptiles and small mammals, worms, eggs, fish, fruit, andplants.Tracks - The skunk leaves a distinct pattern which is easily identified. The smaller front feet are pigeon-toed andplaced just ahead of the larger rear feet while in motion. This five-toed creature has long claws which are usuallyevident in the print.
ScorpionsARACHNIDSInsect Scorpions are an ancient group, remaining relatively unchanged since they became one of the first animals to crawl onto land about 400 million years ago. Anatomy: scorpions have a cephalothorax (combined head and thorax) containing their two pedipalps (pincers) and 8 legs and a metasoma ("tail") of 5 segments that is part of their abdomen. The pedipalps double as sensors (making up for their poor eyesight) and to grasp prey (usually other arthropods that they have ambushed). After grasping their prey, they sting it using their telson (stinger) and "chew" it up with their chelicerae. Life Cycle: Scorpions do not lay eggs, instead they give birth in the summer to live young that hop onto their mothers back and ride around for the 1-3 weeks until their first molt. Scorpions are nocturnal so it is difficult to watch them going about their business. A good way to watch scorpions is to use a black light at night. One or more substances in the epidermis (outer skin) of our scorpions fluoresce a greenish-yellow color, making it easy to spot them. If you are lucky, you may witness scorpions ambushing their prey.
FirefliesINSECTSThe Pyralis firefly (also known as the lightning bug) is a common firefly in North America. Thispartly nocturnal, luminescent beetle is the most common firefly in the USA.The Fireflys Glow: At night, the very end (the last abdominal segment) of the firefly glows abright yellow-green color. The firefly can control this glowing effect. The brightness of a singlefirefly is 1/40 of a candle. Fireflies use their glow to attract other fireflies. Males flash about everyfive seconds; females flash about every two seconds.
CoatimundisMAMMALSRange: The Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of southwesternArizona, southwestern New Mexico and the Big Bend toBrownsville areas of Texas.Habitat: Canyons of desert mountain forests, usually nearwater.Anatomy: The Coati is a raccoon-like omnivore, but is moreslender and possesses a longer snout. It is a nosy, busy littlecreature with an insatiable appetite.The Coati has a long snoutthat is white near the tip and around the eyes, which often havedark patches above. The Coati has small ears, dark feet and along, thin tail with 6 or 7 dark bands.Diet: Coatis are diurnal, spending most of the day foraging forfood, which includes insects, lizards, roots, fruits, nuts and eggs.They are very fond of fruit, especially the manzanita berry.However, their habits are adjustable, and in areas where they arehunted by humans for food, or where they raid humansettlements for their own food, they become more nocturnal.Life Cycle: Coatis deliver a litter of 4 to 6 young after a gestationperiod of about 11 weeks. The female educates and feeds the youngfrom the den site, usually a rocky niche in a wooded canyon.
TarantulasARACHNIDSize: Male 2-2 ½ inches in length, female 2-2 ¾ inches. Legspan upto 4 inches.Anatomy: Large, hairy body, gray to dark brown. Abdomenbrownish black. Each leg has 2 claws at the tip and a tuft of hairunderneath. Microscopic bristles on abdomen, which easily break offand irritate the skin or eyes of its enemy or prey. Large, venomousfangs, although the venom is similar to that of a bee sting. Venom isused to subdue prey. As they grow, they molt or shed their oldexoskeleton. Have 8 closely grouped eyes, but do not have goodvision.Found in areas of desert soil. Nocturnal. Live in a burrow lined withsilk, but do not spin webs to catch prey. Males are short lived, butfemales may live 20 years or more. They are reluctant to attackhumans.Diet: Insects, lizards and other small animals such as mice.Range: Arizona, southern California, New Mexico south into Mexico.Male tarantulas, at 5-7 years of age, begin their search for a mate fromAugust through October, then die shortly after mating. A male approachesthe female’s burrow and plucks the strands of web at the opening of theburrow to lure her out. If the female is not pleased with his tune, she mayconsume him.Female lays up to 300 eggs and conceals them in some natural cavity.White, tick-size babies hatch in six weeks.
Coyotes MAMMALS Adult coyotes measure from 23 to 25 inches high at the shoulder and are 3.4 to 4.3 feet long. Coyotes eat almost everything: mice, voles, rabbits, insects, fish, frogs, snakes, lizards, grasses, nuts, and all sorts of dead animals. They even eat watermelon. The name coyote comes from the Aztec word coyotl. The Aztecs were people who began living in central America some 700 years ago. The scientific name for coyote is Canis latrans, which means barking dog in Latin. Coyote parents may supply live mice to their pups for hunting practice. The coyotes keen intelligence and senses help it adapt to many different habitats: forests, deserts, prairies, mountains, suburbs, cities, and even golf courses. Coyotes are native only to North America. Female coyotes select den sites and give birth from 1 to 12 pups in spring. Both parents care for the pups. Parents chew food and swallow it. Then they bring it up again to feed the pups.
FrogsAMPHIBIANSArizona Tree FrogThe Arizona Tree Frog or Mountain Frog was designated the state amphibian of Arizona in 1986.Range: Found in the mountains of central Arizona and western New Mexico, The Arizona frog inhabits oak, pine and fir forestsabove 5,000 feet elevations.Anatomy: The Tree Frog is only 3/4" to 2" long. It is usually green but can also be gold to bronze in color (with a whitish belly).Arizona tree frogs have a dark stripe that starts at the snout, runs through the eye, and extends along its body to just before therear legs. It may also have spots or bars on its back. Primarily nocturnal and spending most of the year inactive.Diet: Tree Frogs eat insects, shrubs, or dense grass around water.
CatfishYaqui CatfishAlmost no information is available on this species, but its life history ispresumed to be similar to that of the channel catfish.Anatomy: Yaqui catfish reach almost 2 feet long. This species has 4 pairs ofwhiskers. It has a soft fins. It is a silver-tan to goldish above, transitioning tosilver or silver-white below.Range: This is a fish of the Río Yaqui and Río Casas Grandes drainages ofnorthwestern Mexico and extreme southeastern Arizona. It is a rare fish inArizona due to limited range, it is protected in the United States as aThreatened Species.Habitat: The Yaqui catfish prefers quiet water over sand-rock substrates.Diet: Catfish tend to be nocturnal and feed upon aquatic invertebrates whileyoung. When they reach 4 inches in length they begin to also feed on algae andsmall to medium sized fishes.
Standards ScienceStrand 4: Life ScienceConcept 1: Characteristics of OrganismsUnderstand that basic structures in plants and animals serve a function.PO 2. Classify animals by identifiable group characteristics:• vertebrates – mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians• invertebrates – insects, arachnids Arizona Educational Technology StandardsStrand 1: Creativity and InnovationConcept 1: Knowledge and IdeasPO 1. Evaluate information to generate ideas and processes.Example: Students will investigate a topic (e.g. animal habitats, adaptations, ecosystems.) NETS for Students4.Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision MakingStudents use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and makeinformed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:a. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.d. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.