The Bat Opens A Diner

Posted by Nancy Hays on 1/17/2018 to Nature Stories

We recently installed a new light in our parking area.  It was supposed to only turn on when movement and heat were detected.  This would mean we did not have to trim our trees to keep the light from turning on when it was not necessary. Sounds like a great product right?  Well, after about a month we found that the light was turning on when there was no apparent heat source. Lucky for me the receipt wasn’t where it was supposed to be and I had to spend some time looking for it so I could not readily return the light.

Now you are probably wondering what this has to do with bats.  Well, it seems that a Big Brown Bat had figured out how to turn on the light by flying across the sensor.  Once the light was turned on it attracted insects and dinner was served for this very clever bat.

This got me interested in looking up more about bats.  One of the most interesting facts was that at least 20 species of bats actually sing.  The males vocalize to attract mates and to defend territories. Some of these species use songs more complex than bird songs. The songs have syntax, repeated patterns, and rhythm. The bats can also improvise to make the song its own.

Many people relate bats with rodents and consider them a flying mouse.  This is not an accurate depiction.  In fact, if you look at the molecular phylogenetic tree of mammals you would be surprised to learn that you are more closely related to rodents than bats are.

I knew that bats use echolocation, but I did not know that this echolocation is so developed that fish-eating bats can find a minnow’s fin that extends above the water only two millimeters and is as thin as a human hair.

By listening to frog calls bats can distinguish between poisonous and nonpoisonous frogs.  The frogs have developed short, difficult to locate calls to defend themselves against this predator.

I knew some bats were insectivorous. The pallid bat that lives in our area feeds on centipedes and scorpions. These bats have developed immunity to centipedes and scorpion stings.   The hearing of the African Heart-nosed Bat is so developed it can hear a beetle walking across the sand 2 yards away.

If you would like to celebrate your wonder of the bat you may want to check out our bat gift items. Below is just a few of our bat gift ideas.

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