Have you ever pretended to be a ferocious tiger, a sly fox, or a soaring eagle? Then why not, for just a few minutes, imagine yourself as a bat?”A bat?” you shriek. Who’d ever want to be a bat? They’re ugly, creepy, scary, and they suck people’s blood. No thank you. I’ll just skip my life as one of those, if you don’t mind.”That’s understandable, but don’t close your mind the idea until you hear a bit more about them. They really are among the most interesting creatures alive.Did you know that bats are not birds? They, like human beings, are mammals. Baby bats feed on milk from their mothers’ breasts, and are already about three fourths of their adult size at birth.Bats are the only mammals that can fly. If you were a bat, you could fly more than 2 miles high.A bat’s feet are so strong they can hold its weight upside down all day long. Wouldn’t it be fun to hang upside down from the light over your bed, and shock your parents when they came to say good-night?
There are more than 1000 different kinds of bats in the world. You could choose to be a fruit-eating macro bat, with a 6-foot wing-span, or a tiny Bumblebee micro bat, weighing less than a penny.Micro bats in North America weigh only a few ounces, and live mostly on insects. One small micro bat can eat 600 insects an hour. “Yuk,” you say? Well, since we’re only pretending, maybe some juicy mosquito protein for dinner wouldn’t be too bad. Once you start to munch up those pesky insects, the world will surely be a better place.Sometimes, bats catch insects in their mouths, but often, they use their wings to slap insects into a membrane, or piece of skin between their legs, which can be used like a bag for storage. Later, they poke their heads down into the bag to gobble up their dinner. (The membrane is also used to catch bat babies when they are born.)
Ever wonder how bats find all those insects they eat? Their eyes are pretty weak compared to other mammals and most birds, but bats have a secret weapon called echolocation. This is a kind of sonar system bats use to find food, and to keep from bumping into things.Most bats make a high-pitched 토토꽁머니 sound as they fly along. The sound, when it strikes an object ahead of the bat, echoes back and tells the bat how large the object is, and how far away it is. Some insects hear the sound and get out of the way, but most are not quick enough.Besides those that eat fruit and those that eat insects, there are bats that eat fish, frogs, and even blood. The ones that live on blood are called Vampire Bats. but don’t worry about them. They live in South America, and don’t like human blood all that much. Their favorite diet is blood from cattle, so they can be a big nuisance to farmers.
Many people think that bats are evil creatures, but this is far from true. Look at some of the good things they do.
* Bats eat hundreds of tons of insects every night, saving us the trouble and expense of spraying with dangerous pesticides.
* Bats carry seed and pollen to renew tropical rain forest trees and plants.
* Bananas, avocados, vanilla, and peaches are pollinated by bats.
* Bat droppings, (guano), found in caves, provide an important ingredient in fertilizer. Many workers earn a living collecting guano.
* In Arizona, bats are the main pollinators of giant cacti. If bats disappeared, so would these magnificent plants.
* Studying bats helped our government develop radar and sonar.
* Even Vampire Bats are not all bad. Their saliva is being studied for use in keeping the blood of heart patients from clotting.Bats, like most animals, have some natural enemies, but their greatest danger comes from human beings. Pesticides, used by humans, kill millions of bats every year. Most people, when they discover a bat, try to kill it or scare it away. Cave explorers sometimes frighten bats away; if the bats cannot find another roost quickly, their young may die from the cold. Bats that allow you to get too close may be sick, so never touch one you find on the ground.