Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by activity during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal".
Nocturnal creatures generally have highly developed senses of hearing and smell, and specially adapted eyesight. Some animals, such as cats and ferrets, have eyes that can adapt to both low-level and bright day levels of illumination (see metaturnal). Others, such as bushbabies and (some) bats, can function only at night. Many nocturnal creatures including tarsiers and some owls have large eyes in comparison to their body size in order to compensate for the lower light levels during the night.
Diurnal animals, such as squirrels and songbirds, are active during the daytime. Crepuscular species, such as rabbits, skunks, cats, and hyenas, are often erroneously referred to as nocturnal. Cathemeral species, such as fossas and lions, are active both day and night.