Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Nocturnal and Diurnal

Nocturnal vs Diurnal

Humans and animals function in different settings and times of the day. Some are at their best during the morning while others are at their best during the night. It is interesting to note that we have distinct and preferred times of the day. I personally love working at night, and I’m always sleepy during the day. Some people love working in the daytime and cannot tolerate working during night shifts. So it depends and varies a lot on each person.

“Nocturnal” is a term used which comes from the Latin word “nocturnus” meaning “belonging to the night.” It is a word which describes organisms that are active in the night, such as animals and plants. “Diurnal,” on the other hand, is a word which comes from the Latin word “diurnus” meaning “daily” or “day.” It is a word describing living things which are active during the day whether animals, plants, or humans as well.

In animals, “nocturnality” is a word describing their behavior for these creatures who are active during the night time and sleeping during the day. These animals have a high sense of olfaction or smelling and hearing. Some can only do their tasks at night, such as bats. A lot of nocturnal animals usually have bigger eyes than their head and body. Examples of these are tarsiers and owls.

“Diurnality,” on the other hand, is a term for animals’ behavior that are active during the day. While they are active in the daytime, they sleep during the night. Most of the animals like mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects are diurnal. We humans are also diurnal, but some people function best at night. More examples of these animals are beavers, squirrels, rabbits, and skunks.

Plants can also be nocturnal or diurnal, but this depends on the season of pollination where the insects visit them.

In humans, when a person is said to be nocturnal, she is wide awake and active at night. She or he is sometimes referred to as a vampire or Dracula. The nocturnal lifestyle can be a cause of night shift jobs, a social life that always occurs at night, such as drinking and partying, or worse, may be the cause of sleeping problems such as insomnia.


1.“Diurnal” came from the word “diurnus” meaning “daily” or “day” while “nocturnal” came from the word “nocturnus” meaning “belonging to the night.”
2.Nocturnal species have special senses which are active at night while diurnal species are best functioning during the day.
3.Humans can be nocturnal or diurnal depending on external factors, such as occupation, lifestyle, or at worst is by a disease.

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