Welcome to the night house!

The sun shines outside.  But moonlight glows inside.  Do you feel it?  The puffs of wind as the bats flap by?  Can you spy the hissing cockroaches on a branch?  Do you see the night owl monkeys on a shelf?

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God has created animals that sleep at night and other kinds that come out at night. Those are called “nocturnal.” The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans has a night house. It holds animals from Central and South America. The main room is a big cage for 200 fruit-eating short-tailed bats. Their bodies are shorter than your pinkie finger. But their wings are 12 inches from tip to tip. Bats make sounds to locate things around them. They will not fly into the people who visit the night house. Do not let nocturnal creatures scare you. Psalm 74:16 reminds us that both day and night belong to God.

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• You probably have seen a raccoon. Did you know that it is nocturnal? It comes out at night to look for food. Raccoons can see and hear well in the dark. But it is not unusual to see them during the daytime either.

• Almost all kinds of bats are nocturnal. And there are over 1,000 different kinds! One bat that lives in the forests of India, China, and some other countries is the Indian flying bat. It is BIG! Its wings stretch five feet from tip to tip! But do not fear. This bat eats only fruit.

• Barn owls have heart-shaped faces and beautiful feathers. These owls are found on every continent but Antarctica. They have really good hearing and eyes just right for seeing things in the dark.

• I don’t think you would like to meet an eyelash viper. It is a poisonous snake that comes out at night. But it lives only in the rainforests of Central and South America. These snakes can be brown, green, red, or yellow. What are called “eyelashes” are actually partial scales over their eyes.

• Luna moths live in North American forests and come out at night to circle around outdoor lights. They have light green wings with yellow stripes.

• God has created many creatures to be busy at night. Sit outside after dark one night with Mom or Dad. Find a dark place in the yard or park. Sit and listen. What animals or insects do you hear? What do you see?

 

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