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Day or Night?

263 reviews


Areas of Science
Time Required
Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability
Readily available
Very Low (under $20)
If you choose to try trapping small animals, adult assistance will be necessary. Avoid touching wild animals. Seek immediate medical attention if bitten by an animal.
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

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Animals have different levels of activity depending upon their habitat, metabolism and behavior. Diurnal animals are more active during the day. Nocturnal animals are more active at night. Being diurnal or nocturnal may have different advantages for different animals. For example, desert animals tend to be nocturnal so they can stay cool and escape the desert heat present during the day. What types of diurnal and nocturnal animals are common in your area? You can set out a small trap to catch small invertebrates like insects, spiders and worms. Check your trap at the end of the day and in the morning to see which animals are diurnal, nocturnal or both. To make a recessed bug trap, dig a small hole deep enough to sink a glass jar into so that the rim of the jar is just below the surface of the soil. Cover the jar and surrounding area with a piece of wood or rock. You can also make more complicated traps to catch night flying bugs, or you can make a sweep net to catch flying bugs during the day. You can even make your own small animal traps to catch larger animals, but get your parents' help with this one as some small animals can carry rabies. (Gardner & Webster, 1987, 3-6, 27-31; Dashefsky, 1995, 4-6)


  • Dashefsky, H.S. 1995. Zoology: 49 Science Fair Projects. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
  • Gardner, R. and Webster, D. 1987. Science in Your Backyard. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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Global Connections

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

This project explores topics key to Life on Land: Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.


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Park rangers are the law enforcement officials of our state and national parks. They protect and preserve parklands, keeping park resources safe from people who might try to damage them, deliberately or through neglect, and keeping people safe from dangers within the park. To achieve this goal, park rangers work in a wide variety of positions, including education and interpretation for park visitors, emergency dispatch, firefighting, maintenance, law enforcement, search and rescue, and… Read more

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MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Day or Night?" Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Zoo_p041/zoology/diurnal-nocturnal. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Day or Night? Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Zoo_p041/zoology/diurnal-nocturnal

Last edit date: 2017-07-28
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