What Animals Can See in the Dark?

Animals that can see in the dark are known as nocturnal animals, and many of these animals are desert dwellers that evolved into nocturnal animals to avoid the extreme heat of the desert in the daytime. Nocturnal animals, including owls, cats and lemurs, have specially developed eyes that can see just as well during the nighttime hours as they can during the day.

Not all nocturnal animals can see in the dark. Bats, for example, use echolocation instead of vision to navigate the nighttime skies. Echolocation involves the bat emitting a high-pitched sound that bounces off objects, giving the bat a "picture" of the shape, texture, distance and direction of an object.

Animals that can see in the dark exist on land and in the water. Crocodiles have excellent night vision, making them effective silent hunters. Alligators also have the ability to see and hunt in the dark. Cuttlefish have adapted to the night and are able to swim in low visibility. Other fish, including the angelshark, never see the light of day because they dwell along the deepest floors of the ocean. The flattened body of the gentle fish skims easily over the rocks as it searches for food in the dark.