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Word of the Week: Cathemeral
January 09, 2019 by Haya Aldoori

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Coyote on Grenadier Pond

Word of the week is CATHEMERAL (adj.): Relating to organisms which have sporadic and random intervals of activity at any time of the night or day.

The words NOCTURNAL, DIURNAL, or even CREPUSCULAR, usually come to mind when describing animal activity, but not all animals fall into one of these 3 groups. In order to acquire food, socialize with other organisms, and perform any other activities necessary for their livelihood, some animals are active in a more “unpredictable” way; falling into a 4th group which is known as CATHEMERAL

Some animals that are considered cathemeral in High Park include frogs and coyotes!

Even with these 4 defined groups, it is still not always easy to know whether an animal is truly cathemeral, or if it better fits the script of a nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular animal. In nature, things are never so clear cut!   

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