Thursday, October 23, 2008

Friendly Bats

Bat, Bat, come under my hat
and I'll give you a piece of bacon.
And when I bake, I'll give you a cake
if I am not mistaken.
At this time of the year, Halloween vampires and horror movies reinforce our cultural dislike for bats. This is sad and ironic, as these small flying mammals are extremely beneficial to us. I was fortunate to watch the awesome exodus of a colony of Mexican free-tail bats out of Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico) at dusk last summer. About 300,000 bats spiral out of the mouth of the cave then head off to spend the night eating insects. It can take up to half an hour for them to exit the cave! Insect-eating bats can eat up to half their body weight in mosquitoes and other pests. Other bats play an essential role in pollination or seed dispersal.

Come on into the library and find out more about friendly bats!

No comments: