Chiroptrivia 2007

Created 2007

“Life is a beautiful and strange creature that appears at a window, flies swiftly through the banquet and is gone.”  The Venerable Bede

and there can be few more strange and wonderful creatures than a bat.So this section is dedicated to the strange and wonderful things which make bat group members laugh, agree with or wonder at. If you have something you’d like to post here, quotations, facts, trivia or whatever email us

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Illustration from http://www.police999.com/wildlife/bats1.htm

Illustration from http://www.police999.com/wildlife/bats1.htmYou can tell whether you are holding bat poo or mouse poo in your hands by rubbing it between your fingers. If it crumble to dust it is a bat dropping, if it sticks to your fing rs it is a mouse droppings and you need to go and wash your hands
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http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2006/11/evolution/zimmer-text

A Serbian gentleman we met whilst out mist netting told us that his parents use to carry a bat’s wing in their pocket as a good luck charm, in the same way that people used to carry  a rabbit’s foot

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On of the most bizarre injuries the bat group ever had to deal with was a self inflating pipistrelle It had a puncture wound to its chest which meant that as it flew it was pumping air into its chest cavity. So swollen was it, that it was initially identified as a serotine. Those of you who like a happy ending will be pleased to learn it made a full recovery We didn’t think to take a photo, but bat world in the USA had a similar case and did They also had the wit to name the patient Puff

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In the UK Summer 2007 in Britain has been a difficult on for bats . In Bedfordshire we didn’t have as much rain as many other areas, but we did notice there were fewer bats about and more bats were being reported in houses or found abandoned. This was a national trend.(see more from the BBC website ) but it did give rise to this amazing

photo.
Find out about this bat on the BBC website

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Photo from http://www.worldisround.com/articles/27594/photo5.html

The naked bat Cheiromeles torquatus of Malaysia is one of the few creatures in the world who can claim to be parasitised by an earwig. The earwig hangs onto folds in the bat’s flesh. It wouldn’t be able to get a grip on fur


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Photo Bob Cornes Glossophaga soricina

The nectar feeding bat Glossophage soricina which weighs in at 1g can consume 1.5 times its body weight of nectar in a day. They are incredibly efficient at metabolising this sugar and within half an hour are utilising it all without first converting it to glycogen. The fittest of athletes can only convert 30% of the energy they get from power drinks in he same period of time

2011-7-bats tongues  54

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Zeus & Io by Corregio (1532) can be seen at the Louvre

We have already told you that Io iathe great dawn bat has the shortest latin name in the world, but how did it get it? One of the website’s Australian fans contacted us with this question and thanks to bat group member Richard Lawrence, we now have the answer.

Ia io was named by Oldfield Thomas in 1902. Io was a woman from “classical times” .Io was pursued by notoriously randy father of the gods Zeus One day Zeus noticed the maiden and lusted after her. Some say she rejected his advances until he caused her own father to drive her out into the fields. Here, Zeus covered her with clouds to hide her from the eyes of his jealous wife, Hera, who nonetheless came to investigate. In a vain attempt to hide his crimes, Zeus turned himself into a white cloud and. transformed Io into a beautiful white heifer. Hera was not fooled. She demanded the heifer as a present

Zeus & Io by Corregio (1532) can be seen at the Louvre

and Mr Thomas’s reason for using it is to name a bat?: “like many women a bat is essentially flighty”

Oldfield Thomas (1858-1929) was the Curator in charge of Mammals at the British Museum. He came up with over 200 new names in his lifetime – and was born in the Bedfordshire village of Millbrook.

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RAF 9 Squadron has a bat on its insignia. it is not alone

For many more examples visit 

http://www.bathead.com/insignia.html

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www.bathead.com/insignia.htm

“The first use of bats as an Official squadron insignia and their representation on the squadrons’ aircraft is found in the United States Navy. Ironically, Observation Squadron VOS-3S (circa 1923) had been supplied with scout aircraft (Vought O2U-1 Corsair) that were so poorly suited to observation duties that both pilots and the observers complained of being “blind as bats”. During this time, observation squadrons which often flew out of Guantanamo Bay, designated a “Cuban bat” (perhaps Artibeus?) should represent their “blind” status and the bat logo was used by the squadron throughout its history … Aircraft pictured below is a Vought O2U-1 Corsair that flew with squadron VOS-3S from the USN Cruiser SS Raleigh”

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 A pipistrelle weighs about the same as a credit card
A Noctule weighs about the same as a dessert spoon
A barbastelle weighs about the same as a £1 coin( the moral of this is, never ever leave a bat enthusiast indoors on a rainy day with time and a spring balance on their hands.)

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Courtship of the fruit bat Pteropus giganteusconsists of the male shrieking shrilly into the ear of the female until she gives in Australian flying foxes are more sophisticated in the seduction stakes. For an x-rated description click here


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This beautiful plant is Tacca chantrieri – also known as the Bat Lily or the Black Bat flower. It grows in the Yunnan Province of China,where it is sometimes called the Tiger’s Whiskers Plant

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Scientists reported in January 2007 that they had identified an entirely new species of bat which is unusual as it has suckers to help it hold on to leaves Click here to find out more

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Photo Ross Baker

Vampires share blood with their friends

For more vampire trivia

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Bats play an important role in Japan, where they are seen as a sign of good luck. It was not unusual to use bat images in textile design . The Japanese artist Kesai Eisen included them in paintings and textile.Try http://www.printsofjapan.com/keisai_eisen1.htm for a site with many other exciting examples of batty japanese designs (keep scrolling down the page once you get there)

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American big brown bats Epesicus fuscus)can navigate using the earth’s magnetic field using an internal compass to guide them home, a trick known to pigeons naked mole rats and siberian hamsters
Click here to go to the New Scientist site for more details

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http://www.bio.miami.edu/muchhala/home.html

“It’s like a cat being able to lap milk from 2 feet away”Nathan Muchula, University of Florida

Anoura fistulata is a small bat from Ecuador. Its only about the size of a mouse, but has a tongue which is half as long again as its body. When not in use it stores it in the space between its heart and its sternum. It is the sole pollinator of a long tubed flower Centropagum nigricans. It has the longest tongue to body ratio of any mammal

Click here to go to National Geographic for more details and a photo

2011-7-bats tongues2011-7-bats tongues

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Photo Jude Hirstwood

Noctules will purr loudly sometimes when held in the hand. Pipistrelles do the same, only more genteelly. We like to think this is a sign that it’s happy.

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Illustration by Joan Childs

According to english folk tradition a bat’s head placed in a mouse hole will cause the mouse to flee

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You are probably familiar with the bat logo that is used for Bacardi rum. In the 19th century, Don Facundo and his wife Doña Amalia Lucia Victoria Moreau were establishing the Bacardi empire. In 1862 Amalia noticed a colony of fruit bats living near the distillery and thought of the local superstition which attached bats to good health, fortune and family unity, she thought that a bat would be a good symbol for their product. Also, the largely illiterate local population would be able to distinguish their product by the logo

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but others have also used bats as trademarks. In August 1926 Horace Bates founded Bates Cycles at 2a Swete Street, London E13. His brother E.G. Bates joined the company in 1927 and the firm changed its name to “Bates Brothers” shortly afterwards. They manufactured all types of cycle frames and cycles, and chose this lovely bat as their logo. Click here for more information on Bates bicycles

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A truly tasteless quote .I do hope he really said it. I also hope he didn’t really do it.”I bit the head off a live bat the other night. It was like eating a Crunchie wrapped in chamois leather” Ozzie Osbourne

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Award winning Scanning electron micrograph by Steve Gescheisnner

Nagwurite kareere maigo is a Nigerian proverb which translates as “He has extracted bat’s teeth” meaning ” He has done something extra-ordinary”

 

 

 

 

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