- Education and Science
Bats., Vampire Bats, are Helping The Environment
The Only Mammals able to fly.
If you mention Bats to most people their reaction is to shudder or tell you a story about 'Bats in the Belfry' (the bell tower at the highest point inside a church)
Bats in your garden at night or in your garage are not too common but it does happen.
Obviously a bat is not a cute pet for your child , like a puppy or a kitten. There is a risk of disease from bat droppings and in some parts of the world. they do carry rabies.
Nevertheless , I know people who think that bats look so cute, being only the size of a man's thumb in body and about 8 inches of wing span. ,so they claim bats just get too much bad press.
Vampire bats have survived in few places, mostly in South America, but even vampire bats are not as scary as the Hollywood variety. They don't turn people into vampires by biting them, Dracula does not fly into the bedroom of a beautiful young girl and dig his fangs into her neck thereby turning her into a new vampire.
No, vampire bats sleep all day , hanging upside down in caves. They live in colonies of a few hundred, usually, although some colonies have been found with as many as 1000 bats. .Vampire bats live entirely on the blood of other animals , unlike the majority of species of bat that live on insects. . An enormous amount of insects.
I'm sure you know the story of the 2 vampire bats who slept late one evening . They woke up to find that all the other bats had gone out for the night looking for food i.e. blood.
The 2 bats decided to fly off in different directions to see what they could find.The 1st bat returned to the cave quite satisfied until he had a shock at the sight of his friend flying home.The 2nd bat was completely covered in blood. His entire wing-span, his little body and all over his face , there was dripping blood.
1st bat.... Wow! You must have had a real feast. What did you find?
2nd bat...............Do you see that tree over there?
2nd bat........... Well I didn't.............
Enough of this frivolity.! The reason for this hub is to highlight the fact that we do need bats and there has been a serious decline in the population over the past few years.
Something called white nose syndrome------ which looks exactly as it sounds-----------as though the bat has snow on his nose--------- is being investigated because it is a fungal growth that appears on the nose and the wings of the little creature. The bats die quickly from this fungus.. Millions of bats have already died. As of May 2009 bat colonies have been decimated in 7 different states of the North East of the U.S.A.. The scientists have no idea where it has come from, or why it is happening.
When we think of vampire bats taking blood from other animals, we may feel it's a goog thing Get rid of the bats.!!! But, all those other species of bat survive on insects.. Hundreds and hundreds of insects. One little bat can eat as much as his own body weight in one night of insects like mosquitos.. .Between them a bat colony eats thousands of insects that would otherwise be crawling and eating our farmer's crops... Vegetation will suffer unbelievably if bats continue to decline in numbers from white nose syndrome. Not to mention the increase in the mosquito population would mean lots more mosquito bites for us humans.
I don't know about you, but I'd prefer the bats to keep eating the mosquitos, instead of mosquitos eating me, , and the bats to keep eating the other insects so that I still have my peas, beans and cabbages. It doesn't bear thinking about if a huge rise in mosquitos meant they'd start carrying Malaria as they do in African Countries..
Cheery litle soul, today, aren't I ?