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Little known facts about bats

Stashed in: Best PandaWhale Posts, Science!, Gift Ideas!, Awesome, Poetry!, Science Too, Bats, Bats

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In the poem called "Dream Song 63", John Berryman opined:

Bats have no bankers, and they do not drink

and cannot be arrested and pay no tax

and, in general, bats have it made.

Well, except for that whole white-nose syndrome thing that's causing them to go extinct... and also the fear and loathing they seem to arouse in most humans.  But except for that noise, they have it made!  Enjoy these photos and factoids of our only flying mammal.

Bats are 20% of all mammal species with 1220 known species of bat. Whoa.

Some of them are really groovy looking:

Bat pictures: 11 images and facts about a misunderstood creature | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Bat pictures: 11 images and facts about a misunderstood creature | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Bat pictures: 11 images and facts about a misunderstood creature | MNN - Mother Nature Network

My day is made.  My favorite stuffed animal.  Its feet velcro together and so do its wings so it can hang it upside down pretty realistically in your office or wherever you want to share bat cuteness.


Adorable. Where'd you buy it?

OMG.  It seems my plush bat has appreciated GREATLY since I bought it at the Harn ( ) in 1996!  I paid something like $16; it's now selling for hundreds!

Wow! Too rich for my blood but it seems pretty awesome.

I guess I should stop sleeping with it.

Naw, it's like sleeping with gold!

And for nieces and nephews or your own spawn:  

Bats at the Beach is a picture book by Brian Lies. The plot of the book is that bats get their beach gear to have fun under the moon.  (The book was reviewed and declared "delightful.")

The message of the book is that bats are not bad. A portion of all copies sold went to Bat Conservation International.[1]

Bats hang upside down to conserve energy

If humans hung upside down from a tree for several hours, it wouldn't take long before they passed out. So, how do bats manage it?

 For starters, human and bat circulatory systems are fundamentally different. Because our blood pumps in the direction of our brain, the stress of gravity transfers even more blood to the head when upside down. A bat's circulatory systems pumps the opposite way — away from its head.  Also, while all mammals have valves in their veins that prevent blood from flowing backwards, bats possess these valves in their arteries, as well. All of these adaptations ensure that blood is evenly distributed throughout the bat's body.

 It also just happens to be more energy efficient for bats to hang by their feet. As opposed to defying gravity and standing upright, no energy has to be expended while hanging due to the lightweight structure of their leg muscles and bones that were developed for flight.

Now I really want to be a bat!