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Topic – The World at Night

Read the Following Selection

Read the following selection, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

The World at Night

It is late at night. You are sound asleep in your bed. The only light outside is coming from the moon and a few streetlights. It seems like the whole world around you is asleep. But is it?

Animals at Night

There are many things happening outside at night. Many animals move around and feed while we sleep. These animals are called nocturnal animals. You may see some nocturnal animals during daylight, but most spend the day resting and sleeping.

Nocturnal animals use all their senses when they are out at night. But some senses are more important than others. Some animals, such as owls, can see very well at night. They have excellent eyesight. Field mice and coyotes have an excellent sense of smell that helps them find food at night. Red foxes and skunks depend a lot on their hearing.

Bats use sound to find their way around at night and catch insects to eat. They send out high-pitched sounds that bounce off nearby objects. They hear the echoes and use them to figure out where the objects are. Bats can do something special to help them do this. Their ears have flaps. The flaps cover their ears when they first make the sounds, and uncover them after. This way the bats know which sound is the one they are sending out and which sound is the one bouncing back.

Many insects such as moths, fireflies, mosquitoes, and crickets are nocturnal. Some people think all nocturnal insects are attracted to light. Some insects such as moths, are attracted by light, but many are not—they avoid light.

Plants at Night

Plants are also very active at night. During the day, they use sunlight to make their own food. At night, they change the food they make into energy to grow. Some plants only bloom at night. During the day, their flowers are closed. And some plants only release their scent, or smell, after the sun goes down.

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