Any natural history boffins out there?

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cornish tigress
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Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:14 pm

Am writing a book on nocturnal animals for littluns, and have found during my research that it seems most nocturnal animals eat other nocturnal animals, but as far as I can see no one has actually stated this as a concept. Dare I say it? It's almost like there is a night shift of eat and be eaten, and then a totally separate day shift of eat and be eaten, and rarely do the two cross. What do we reckon? Dare I say this? Have I stumbled across an amazing PhD worthy line of investigation? Or am I talking shallow badly researched :censored:?

Advice please..... :smt017
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by tigerburnie » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:42 pm

Are we talking just British wildlife here?I'm not a boffin but I do read and watch a lot of British Wildlife.
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cornish tigress
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:49 pm

No, international wildlife are welcome. My consultant has just come back and said it's OK and I am a latter day genius. Well, not in quite so many words. Who'd have thought? I think I am on to something. Anyone want a PhD subject going cheap?
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by CJ » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:24 pm

badgers. nocturnal, pretty much the world over. here they eat worms and all sorts of stuff which are neither nocturnal or diurnal.
foxes: eat chickens, lambs - and any left over bird food in my experience.

bit on the whole, I see the point. good luck in the thesis and we'll see you on Springwatch or Autumnwatch in due course!

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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by fleabane » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:26 am

Are Tigresses nocturnal? :smt002
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cornish tigress
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:22 am

Thanks CJ, you just know there will be plenty of exceptions. That's great.

We're crepuscular, which sounds like a nasty skin disease. :smt010
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by DickyP » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:06 am

cornish tigress wrote:Thanks CJ, you just know there will be plenty of exceptions. That's great.

We're crepuscular, which sounds like a nasty skin disease. :smt010
OK I admit it - I had to look up crepuscular - can't see me forgetting it now. I think I like the word cathemeral which I came across while looking it up even better. :smt001

Mind you even if you were a naturally daytime creature if some predator was chewing on you after dark you'd be temporarily nocturnal wouldn't you?
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cornish tigress
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:23 am

Ha ha

"The activity of an organism may be regarded as cathemeral when it is distributed approximately evenly throughout the 24 h of the daily cycle, or when significant amounts of activity, particularly feeding and/or traveling, occur within both, the light and dark portions of that cycle."

I think I'm that too. Midnight fridge grazer :smt001
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by Rizzo » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:35 pm

http://www.zoomwhales.com/coloring/nocturnal.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocturnality

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/adaptations/Nocturnality

Predation

Nocturnality is a form of crypsis, an adaptation to avoid or enhance predation. One of the reasons that (cathemeral) lions prefer to hunt at night is that many of their prey species (zebra, antelope, impala, wildebeest, etc.) have poor night vision. Many species of small rodents are active at night because most of the dozen or so birds of prey that hunt them are diurnal. There are many diurnal species that exhibit some nocturnal behaviors. For example, many seabirds and sea turtles only gather at breeding sites or colonies at night to reduce the risk of predation to themselves and/or their offspring.

.....

regarding the bit about birds of prey being diurnal, the peregrine on Worcester cathedral regularly hunts at night, you see her on the webcam.

as you're on twitter CT, you could also try tweeting @ChrisGPackham @BBCWildlife or @BugBoyBaker for assistance or comment.
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:47 pm

That's interesting about the peregrine falcon. I am getting SO bogged down with this book. It's the last one of a six book series on animals that I am writing and I think I have just reached my research ceiling of patience for facts and contradicting facts :smt003

Thanks so much for the help. I have pretty much read the not very reliable wikipedia from cover to cover over the past couple of months. And then every scientific paper from water spiders webs (amazing!) to the migration patterns of wildebeest on the Serengeti. Small old tired brain about to explode into fragments. :smt005
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by Rizzo » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:30 pm

Sorry not to be of more help, and wikipedia isn't always accurate!

Thinking about it a little more, there is a sort of crossover period (dawn and dusk) where nocturnal animals and diurnal animals are possibly active at the same time. Foxes nowadays seem to have no hesitation in scavenging food at any time of day or night for example. Many predators can be opportunist, if there was a prey animal around while they were active they'd go for it etc. Barn owls often hunt by day, and certainly at twilight I've seen them many times. I'd imagine that in general if it was a herbivore it wouldn't matter whether it was day or night (African wildlife films by Jonathan Scott etc have shown zebra and giraffe grazing at night) but the predators are more likely to hunt at night if their prey animals have poor night vision and rely more on smell and hearing.

I do hope when you write this Thesis on What Nocturnal Animals Eat you are going to give us a reference credit in the back!
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cornish tigress
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:51 pm

Thanks Rizzo. Crepuscular. I know. I've even had to hit these poor little mites with that word, which I had never even heard of until last week! We get brazen foxes round here in broad daylight, but usually only if they are very hungry. Poor old herbivores on the Serengeti are kind of difficult to hide aren't they, particularly if they fart loudly.

If I ever get round to the PhD I may well give you all a mention! "The Tigers forum" will sound like we are all world-reknowned tiger and wildlife experts! I think for this 24 page book of few words for key stage 2 I may not have room to list everyone! - and my consultant will blow a professional hissy fuse :smt003 And she has been brilliant. :smt023

Back to my search for the perfect image of animal's tapetum glowing in the dark. :censored: photographers think eyeshine = bad photo and don't put them in the photo libraries. But it is just what I need to illustrate my page. Am having to search Flikr for crappy shots by people like me. Oh no!
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by Rizzo » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:31 pm

Don't waste your time away thinking about yesterday's blues
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cornish tigress
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by cornish tigress » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:46 pm

Thanks Rizzo! Is watching Tigers just TOO depressing today? :smt003 We really should be thrashing them not surviving.

The last one is great, thanks so much - but I need to get rights and they need to be cheapy cheap cheap. Will see if I can track down the photographer.

Let me know if I can ever help you at work. Make you tea or do some filing or something? :smt003
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Re: Any natural history boffins out there?

Post by Kinoulton » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:09 am

We have a "resident" barn owl (it's a bit fickle and feels it can drift in and out of our lives at any time) but when we do see it, it's usually at last light in the evening or first thing in the morning.

I imagine it's nocturnal but it has such phenomenal vision, why doesn't it hunt in daylight?
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