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🎶 Hi, said the little leatherwing bat
I'll tell to you the reason that
The reason that I fly by night
Is because I've lost my heart's delight.
Howdy dowdy diddle-dum day
Hey le lee-lee lie-lee low"
It's the end of bat maternity season and time for baby bats to learn to fly during these hot summer nights. With forelimbs adapted as wings, bats are the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight! Contrary to popular belief, bats are not blind and sometimes prefer using eyesight to sound (echolocation) when hunting. Many fruit bats, who drink nectar, don't use echolocation at all and some have particularly sharp vision, and can even see ultraviolet light! Of the 1300 species of bats, many help control insect populations by eating up to a thousand insects in an evening! When bats ‘home in’ on an insect they use both their vision and echolocation. To do this, they make a series of very fast high-pitched calls, described as a ‘feeding buzz’. Flap, baby bats, flap! 🦇
International Bat Night serves to raise awareness of these flying rodents and the role they play in nature.
While others can glide, bats are the only mammals capable of continued flight.
There are 1,100 species of bats worldwide, making up a quarter of the world’s mammals. There are 40 species of bats in the United States alone!
Most bats are insectivores or even feed on fruit or fish. There only three species of "vampire" bats which feed exclusively on blood. Bats that use echolocation (usually insect-eating bats) can find their food in total darkness. They locate insects by emitting inaudible high-pitched sounds, 10-20 beeps per second and listening to echoes.
By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan is "named after one of the most common bats in North America. They eat their share of mosquitoes and midges, etc. and are, therefore, very beneficial. I have always been fascinated by these creatures. In addition, I have always liked brown and black combinations. Here the grey represents the underneath of the bats' wings, and dark blue, the night sky."
For more fascinating facts about bats, click the picture of a little brown bat by artist Roxanne Gasperetti.