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BATS!. Stuff you never knew about Bats. Is it a bird…?. Are bats featherless birds?. If you said NO, you are 100% CORRECT!. We now know that bats are mammals, just like people. But bats are very special mammals.  They are the only mammals that can fly. How do we know they are mammals?.

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slide1

BATS!

Stuff you never knew about Bats

is it a bird
Is it a bird…?
  • Are bats featherless birds?

If you said NO, you are 100% CORRECT!

  • We now know that bats are mammals, just like people.
  • But bats are very special mammals.  They are the only mammals that can fly.
how do we know they are mammals
How do we know they are mammals?
  • Bats are warm blooded
  • Bats nurse their babies with milk
  • Bats have fur 
where in the world are bats found
Where in the world are Bats found?
  • Bats live on all continents except Antarctica.
  • However, they are many more bats and species of bats where the weather is warm, like near the equator or the southern United States.
bat wings
Bat Wings
  • Bat wings are made of two thin layers of skin stretched over the bat's arm and fingers.  Bats have a thumb and fingers, just like people!
  • Bats use their wings for more than just flying, they can wrap their wings around fruit or an insect when eating.
bat senses
Bat Senses

NO!

  • Are bats really blind?
  • Bats can see perfectly well during the day. The only problem is, they hunt at night!
  • To make up for this, bats have the best hearing of all land mammals.
echolocation
Echolocation
  • Instead of relying on their sense of sight to navigate in the dark and find food, bats make rapid high-pitched squeaks called "ultrasounds".  These sounds are too high for most people to hear.
echolocation8
Echolocation
  •  When the sound hits an object an echo comes back.  The bat can identify an object by the sound of the echo. They can even tell the size, shape and texture of  a tiny insect from its echo.
bat video
Bat Video

Let’s take a look at some bats!

echolocation10
Echolocation
  • Many bats eat while they are flying, and this makes it difficult for some bats to make the squeaks out of their mouths.
  • Therefore, many bats use echolocation out their noses. These bats have special flaps and folds of skin on their faces called "nose leaves“.

A bat with nose leaves

species of bats
Species of Bats
  • The world's smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat weighing about as much as a penny.
  • The Flying Fox, with a wingspan of 78 inches, is the world’s largest bat.
  • There are over 900 different species of bats -- they make up one fifth of the world's mammals. 
  • Bats are grouped into two main groups: megabats and microbats.
micro bats
Micro Bats
  • Micro bats are small bats that eat insects, blood, fish, lizards, birds and nectar.
  • Micro bats can echolocate, and account for most the bats found all over the world.
mega bats
Mega Bats
  • Mega bats are large fruit eating bats, also known as flying foxes.
  • They eat fruit and live in tropical regions of the world.
  • Many important agricultural plants, like bananas, mangoes and cashews rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal.
vampire bats
Vampire Bats!
  • The vampire bat is the only bat (and the only mammal) that eats only blood.
vampire bats15
Vampire Bats

Is it true that vampire bats suck your blood?

  • Contrary to popular belief, a vampire bat does not suck blood from its victim, but makes an incision and laps the blood up, which doesn't clot because of anti-coagulants in the bat's saliva.

If you said NO, congratulations!

bat behavior
Bat Behavior
  • Bats hunt and eat at night and sleep during the day.
  • Therefore, bats are called…

Nocturnal!

bat behavior17
Bat Behavior
  • How do bats sleep?
  • They are very sociable, as they usually sleep together in large groups.

If you said upside down, give yourself a pat on the back!

where do bats roost
Where do Bats roost?
  • Some bats may find old mines and set up their colony there.   
  • Tiny woolly bats of West Africa live in the large webs of spiders.  
  • The Honduran white bat cuts large leaves to make "tents" that protect its colonies from jungle rains.

Honduran white bats

What is one place we are forgetting?

bat caves
Bat Caves!
  • Some caves may be home to thousands of bats. 
  • The largest bat colony in the world is in Bracken Cave, Texas.  During the summer, this cave is home to as many as 20 MILLION Mexican free-tailed bats.
  • These bats eat 250 tons of insects every night.
city bats
City Bats?
  • Bats that might have typically lived in caves have begun to adapt to urban life by modifying their behavior to live in man made structures in the city. 
  • The largest urban colony is under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas, home to about 1.5 million bats.
bat babies
Bat Babies
  • After hibernation, the female bats start having baby bats. Do you know what they are called?

Bat pups!

  • Bats usually only have one baby at a time, but sometimes they have twins!
  • The pups are tiny when born, but can usually fly a month after birth.
bat babies22
Bat Babies
  • The pups are born with strong legs and claws because they have to hang on to the mother when she's roosting and to the cave when she's not there. 
  • If the baby looses its grip and falls, it will die.

Mother bat taking care of babies

bat enemies
Bat Enemies
  • Predators of bats include Great Horned Owls, hawks, falcons, raccoons, house cats, and snakes.
  • But who is the greatest predator of all?

Humans, because they destroy the bats’ habitat.

bats and rabies
Bats and Rabies
  • Less than ½ of 1% of bats carry rabies.
  • Fewer than 40 people in the United States are known to have contracted rabies from bats during the past 40 years.
  • Far more people are killed by dog attacks, bee stings, or lightning than rabies from bats.
how dangerous are they
How dangerous are they?

vs.

Given: 2 people die in the U.S. each year from bat bites

Given: 400,000 people in the United States die each year due to smoking-related illnesses

How many times greater chance that a person in a morgue has died from smoking than from being bitten by a rabid bat?

Should we fear cigarettes or bats more?

Hint: Compare the number of people who die from bat bites to those who die from smoking. Make sure to reduce!

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