Today we have some special visitors at New Cross Street. The animal man has brought some animals for us to meet.
We are learning about nocturnal animals and finding out why some animals are only come out at night.
Why are animals nocturnal?
- There are less animals around at night.
- It is dark so it is difficult to be seen by other animals.
- It is easy to be camouflaged at night.
- The weather is cooler at night.
Animals use their senses, sight (big eyes), smell, hearing, taste, touch (whiskers)
First we looked at a rat. We saw him twitch his whiskers and sniff the air. Rats use their whiskers to see if they will fit in a tunnel. If the whiskers touchÂ both sides of the tunnel, he might get stuck. The rat we met is the son of Norman the rat from CBBC. We practised using our hands as ‘big ears’ to make sounds louder.
Next we met a tenrec. We saw a picture first and we all throught it was a hedgehog. We were allowed to stroke him gently. How did it feel when you stroked the tenrec?Â
It had a long nose, whiskers and tiny eyes. It has big ears so it can hear lots. He is light coloured so wouldnt be camouflage at night. He can roll into a ball to keep away animals who might eat him. Tenrecs come from Madagascar.
The next animal we met was also from Madagascar. First we heard it hissing and we thought it was a snake! It was a Giant Hissing Cockroach. They live in the rainforest and eat up the dead leaves. They live in big groups and hide in the leaves. He is dark coloured to help him hide.
Laiba and Zakir went to the front and held the cockroach. They were very brave!
Then we met a snake, it was a rosy boa. Lots of children were really brave and gently touched the snake. How did the snake feel when you touched it? Did you feel frightened?
We found out that snakes have no whiskers and no legs. It sticks out it’s tongue, which looks like a little fork. The snake has little spots near his nose. These help him to find out where warm things are. They use this to help them catch and eat animals.
After playtime, we went back into the hall and we saw an African Bullfrog. You can’t touch a frog’s skin, so we just had to look closely. He is camouflaged to look like dead leaves.
We found out how frogs catch their food, by waiting in a quiet place.
Next we saw a very strange animal called a Tawny Frogmouth. It is a kind of bird, with a very big mouth. When he came out of the box he did a poo! He can make his feathers very flat and they are a grey brown colour so they look like the branches of the tree where he lives. They live in Australia.
Finally we saw Lizzie the owl. She is a Verraux’s Giant Eagle Owl. The owl was very noisy and kept squawking.
Owls can’t see colours, so everything looks black, white and grey to her. She can fly without making a noise because she mostly eats animals with big ears. We saw her fly across the hall and land on Mr Langley’s arm.
Owls can’t smell anything. She has very sensitive ears at the side of her head, but they are made of feathers. On her feet she has big claws called talons. She uses these to catch her food. We saw that owls can turn their heads much more than we can because they have more bones in their neck. We only have seven, but an owl has fourteen.
Do you have any questions about nocturnal animals?