Saturday, 3 August 2013

Batathonic: I'm in love with Bats

I'm completely besotted with bats.  I know some find them creepy, but I love watching them scoffing away in trees, and the movement when they fly.  When they're altogether, being beasts that live in colonies, they make great little snickering noises.  Obviously, as they work most generally by sonar, we can't hear anything else when they communicate.

My favourites are microbats, which surprisingly enough, due to their vulnerability, are the most common bat species.  All up there are over 1,000 bat species of the Order Chiroptera, which means ‘hand winged’, of which megabats Order Megachiroptera of which there are about 170 species.  And yep, we really have microbats and megabats.  I reckon they could do some good anime with them!

In Australia there are heaps of bats all over the place including in populated areas and excluding desert areas.  Friends have had them fly in open windows, particularly microbats.

I've found some great clips on Youtube, so I thought I'd give you a looksy.  This is an absolutely gorgeous clip which gives you a good insight to the size of microbats, and their eating style.  In this one the bat is nibbling on a banana.  They generally eat pollon, which is what that surprising tongue is for, fruit, insects, and caterpillar. They live and nest in tree hollows and bark.

The next video gives you a pretty good idea of the movements and fashion of flying.  Another rescue and you can see him flying around the house.

The next one is a really gorgeous piece of a typical evening with ordinary flying foxes, not microbats.

I've put some reading references below including an article which details one of the significant problems with bats.  They have been linked with viruses that are believed to have killed horses, and also with a school with disease that have caused child fatalities.

Further reading:

A lot of info on bats in Sydney, including school educational material and academic research reports

Loads of Bat Facts including eating habits, environmental impacts, and caring for injured bats

Bats Linked to Hendra Virus in Horses

Bats Linked to Human Fatalities

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