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Bimodal activity pattern; Matutinal (active at dawn); Twilight; Vespertine (active at dusk)


Crepuscular refers to twilight, the time shortly before sunrise and after sunset. In the context of animal ecology, it refers to those species active during these times of day. In other words, a crepuscular animal is one whose diel (24 h) activity pattern has peaks during the twilight hours (e.g., African wild dogs). Crepuscular can also be used to refer to specific behaviors of non-crepuscular species that usually occur during twilight (e.g., nocturnal smooth-tailed newts are crepuscular breeders).

Crepuscular Behavior Patterns

Crepuscular organisms are those that are primarily active during the twilight hours: the periods just around dawn and dusk. Astronomical twilight occurs when the sun is between 0° (sunrise/sunset) and 18° below the horizon (Potts 1990). Twilight near the equator lasts approximately 70 to 85 min, though it can be much longer at higher latitudes. The...

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Correspondence to Nora V Carlson .

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Carlson, N.V. (2017). Crepuscular. In: Vonk, J., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. Springer, Cham.

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