Created Jan 2008
Updated March 2020
“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
A new paper suggests a reason why some bats eat mud – to help them deal with toxins which are in the food they eat .Citation: Voigt CC, Capps KA, Dechmann DKN, Michener RH, Kunz TH (2008) Nutrition or Detoxification: Why Bats VisitMineral Licks of the Amazonian Rainforest.
Moving turbine blades cause a drop in pressure that makes the delicate lungs of bats suddenly expand, bursting the tissue’s blood vessels. Thisbarotrauma is well-known to scubadivers. Bats found dead at the base of wind turbines often show no obvious sign of trauma – as might be expected if they had flown into the blades For more from New Scientist on the effect of wind turbine
A British teenager attracted nationwide publicity when she reported finding a bat in her bra Daily Telegraph article.In Bedfordshire in 2006 we had a report of a bat found in a pair of trousers which had been left out to dry. Fortunately the owner hadn’t got round to ironing them.
In 1997 Bob Dylan was hospitalised with histoplasmosis, a fungal lung disease caused by Histoplasma capsulatum which is common in bat droppings.
Bats as eco-warriors One of the problems facing conservationists is how to recolonise rainforests once they have been cleared. Scientists in Costa Rica have placed bat boxes on the margins of cleared areas This attracted bats and their droppings did the rest. Between 20 and 50% more seeds geminated and they were mainly pioneer plants which encourage natural succession. For more details of bats as eco warriors, visit New Scientist
In Nov 2007 Science Daily reported on bats gets craving during pregnancy and feed at salt licks to ensure they get enough minerals for their fetuses to develop Click here for more including a photo of salt eating bats.
One of Escher’s tessellations features bats For more on Escher’s artwork‘
Noctilio albiventris, the lesser bulldog bat was found to reach an ear shattering 137dB.That’s noisier than a rock concert and above the pain threshold in humans
Click here for more on Noctilio arbiventris’ noisiness at New Scientist
Researchers have shown that the Chinese noctule Nyctalus plancyii is responsive to magnetic fields. The researchers suggest that this bat, uniquely amongst mammals , may use the polarity of magnetic fields to help it navigate
Click here to see the original paper on Nyctalus plancyii and magnetic fields
This image of Nyctalus plancyii is from Bristol University’s Bat’s in China site and is used with permission.The site’s a gem – do check it out and talking of China and Bats,
Zhong Kui being led by a bat is a traditional Chinese New Year Picture. He is the God that drives away evil, captures demons and brings good lucks. Bats are a very auspicious animal to the Chinese and are features i many of his pictures.
The Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts has announced the winners of their bat house competition, Tate Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller.
This is a ceramic made by the Mogolio people from the Mimbres Valley in New Mexico between AD 100 and 1150 . According to Princeton on line bats were often depicted with crosses on their wings, which was similar to the Mayan representations of killer bats which had crossed bones on their wings
Bat or Bata is the name of an ancient egyptian cow goddess. She was originally a deification to the Milky Way and could see into both the past and the future Although rarely depicted in sculpture she was popular on amulet
This fabulous sculpture of fruit bats can be seen in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, To reach the gallery you walk through a garden containing guess what-a nice example of life imitating art
By Lin Onus 1948-1996 Yorta Yorta, Melbourne, Vic. 99 fibre glass polychromed fruit bats, Hills Hoist, polychrome wooden disks.”I have been regularly asked to which school or movement do I belong? Apart from some obvious responses. I guess that what I would have to say is that I belong to the Bower Bird School. You know the one – picking up bits and pieces, here and there…”
Moe about the artist here
One of the features of the Bedfordshire Bat group newsletter is a series entitled “101 uses for a dead bat.” This was number 63 – “End up as a model for Lucien Freud.”
This is a plant called the Bat faced flower Cuphea llavea and comes from Mexico
African bat bugs have a bizarre sex life. The males don’ t use the standard point of entry into the female’s vagina but instead punch their way in through her abdomen some of the females have evolved “paragenitals” on their bodies to minimise the damage this causes. Now it has been found that males have developed these too because this piercing activity seems pretty indiscriminate Moe about bat flies here
Stuck for something to do now that bats are hibernating ? – here’s something to fill those long hours There are some very talented people out there making incredible origami bats
Bat by Miyajima Noboru
Instructions for the above
Another brilliant exponent is Michael G La Fosse. This is a take on a big brown bat
He also makes simpler (it’s all relative) creatures
These are a colony of his happy good luck bats
and for people like me that can’t fold a table napkin here’s an easier one to try (Mine still ended up looking like road kill)
Pupils from Caddington VillageSchool show that making this origami bat is childsplay
and if you can’t follow written instructions try You Tube – How to make a simple bat
In December 2009 , Nick Robinson contacted us to point out he has a relatively straightforward origami bat on his site Click here