Animals in fiction tend to be shown being active at the wrong time of day or night. These terms describe when an animal is most active:
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocturnality Nocturnal]] - active primarily at night.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diurnality Diurnal]] - active primarily during the day.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crepuscular Crepuscular]] - active primarily during both dawn and dusk. Many animals that are casually referred to as nocturnal are actually crepuscular. Though not generally active in the middle of the night, they are similarly absent in broad daylight.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matutinal Matutinal]] - active primarily during the dawn and/or early morning. The variant term, matinal is used only in entomology, often in literature about natural history and ecology of bees.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vespertine_(biology) Vespertine]] - active primarily during the dusk and/or evening. Vespertine animals are usually referred to as nocturnal.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaturnal Metaturnal]] - active part of the day and part of the night.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathemeral Cathemeral]] - can be active at any time of the day or night; basically diurnal, nocturnal, and crepuscular combined.

Authors tend to ignore these restrictions. Happens particularly often to owls. It's worth noting that not all bats nor all owls are nocturnal.

Compare MisplacedWildlife.

!!Examples
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Messenger owls in ''Film/HarryPotter'' can be sent at any time, day or night, no matter the species. Considering the setting and the distances they seem to cover in a very short time as well as the relative [[ArtisticLicenseAnimalCare lack of care]] compared to what they really need, [[AWizardDidIt they may well be magic]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/HarryPotter'' author Creator/JKRowling has noted that snowy owls are actually one of the rare ''diurnal'' species, a fact she [[AccidentallyAccurate didn't realize when she started writing]] about how Hedwig would go out flying every night after a long day's rest. She suggests [[AWizardDidIt being a magical animal]] may have something to do with it in-universe, however.
** In the first chapter of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' the Muggle news contains an item about how strange it is that so many owls are being seen in daylight, as a result of the Wizard celebration of Voldemort's first downfall.
* ''Literature/WarriorCats'' by Erin Hunter. Cats active mainly in the daylight?! WordOfGod states that it is to prevent most of scenes happening in dark. But isn't that cats can see well in the night?
** Actually Cats can be active anytime of the day or night. Also cats can't see in complete darkness. They need at least ''some'' light in order to see(which is usually provided by the moon).

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Rouge from ''SonicTheHedgehog''.
** The Yagyu from the Archie comic.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' Hoothoot and Noctowl can be sent out at any time, though they can only be ''caught'' at night.
** Which is strange the other way, as Hoothoot is based on the diurnal Burrowing Owl.
* That blabbering owl, [[ShallIRepeatThat Kaepora]] [[StopHelpingMe Gaebora]] from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', is cathemeral, always ready to give you [[WallOfText pages and pages of trivial, useless information]], no matter what time it is. "Hoo hoo hoot! [[ShallIRepeatThat Do you want me to repeat]]?"
-->''Yes'' ←\\
''No''
** There's also the [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep the Wise Owl]] from [[TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]] but this is handwaved when at the end it turns out [[spoiler: he's a dream construct]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ZigZagged in {{VideoGame/Pokemon}}: while most species can be found in both day and night, there are some found only in the morning or twilight, based on their real-animal counterparts.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Owl from ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh''.
* Disney's ''RobinHood'' has a fox playing Robin Hood and Maid Marian. They stay awake during the day, despite foxes being crepuscular. And on the occasions where they come into human contact, foxes tend to become... nocturnal.
* ''Disney/TheFoxAndTheHound'' has the owl mentor of Tod, but her species is dubious and thus her diurnal/crepuscular/cathemeral/nocturnal deal.
* Deconstructed in ''FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'', where Herriman insists that even a nocturnal owl friend be up during the day, helping. Frankie protests against this and eventually runs for the administrative position of Foster's, among her campaign promises to adjust sleeping schedules to accomodate nocturnal friends.
* Played with in ''Birdz'': Sleepy Bat is awake during the day, but is constantly falling asleep.
* Originally averted with Owloiscious in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', when Twilight appoints Owloiscious to be her second assistant so Spike can get enough sleep at night/early morning. Played straight in "May the Best Pet win" when he's present during the regular pet play date in the middle of the day.

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Tasmanian Devils are nocturnal. [[TazMania So much for the sky always being yellow.]]
* Wolves are also primarily nocturnal/crepuscular, but Loopy de Loop seems not to have heard.
* Related: Many mammals, such as deer, cats, rabbits, and mice, are either crepuscular, cathemeral, or metaturnal.
** Try to find a cat in fiction that is uncomfortable in daylight (though many cats tend to be comfortable in broad daylight and domestic cats, European wildcats, and cheetahs do just fine in broad daylight.)
** Big cats and other crepuscular mammals to a lesser extent have been noted to increasingly become diurnal in regions where they are no longer hunted (and vice versa), suggesting that the line is murkier than usual.
* Raccoons are nocturnal/crepuscular, but ''rabid'' raccoons are diurnal.
* Snowy owls are diurnal.
* Fossas are cathemeral.
* Mongooses are diurnal.
* Guinea pigs are diurnal.
* Gerbils are diurnal.
* Most members of the squirrel family are diurnal except flying squirrels, which are nocturnal.
* All monkeys are diurnal except douroucoulis (a.k.a. night monkeys or owl monkeys), which are nocturnal.
* Numbats are diurnal, unlike most other marsupials.
* Coyotes are usually crepuscular/nocturnal, but can often be seen during daylight hours. They were once essentially diurnal, but have adapted to more nocturnal behavior with pressure from humans.
* Shrews have such a rapid metabolism that they ''have'' to be cathemeral to survive, because they'll starve to death if they sleep for longer than an hour or so at a stretch.