12 Amazing Things About Bats
October 31, 2012 7:29 AM   Subscribe

12 Amazing Things About Bats

Bat populations are declining due to loss of habitat. You can help by building a bat house.
posted by Egg Shen (31 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
"Bats aren't bugs!"
posted by knile at 7:34 AM on October 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

posted by The Whelk at 7:37 AM on October 31, 2012

I already live in a bat house. We have had four bat intrusions into the main house during the past few years. I've had rabies prophylaxis twice - as per CDC guidelines since I was asleep in a room containing a bat - and our little cat has had two emergency vet visits for rabies boosters after cleverly catching bats. Of course, this means that I am officially the batproof member of the household and am now in charge of coordinating bat removal. My tip for all who need to capture bats: when confronted with a bat flying around the room, take a blanket and drape it over a broom so that it hangs down and provides a large vertical surface. When the bat comes up against this, it will often cling to the blanket. You can then carefully drop the blanket over the bat and bundle it up to take outside. (The CDC recommends that you keep and kill the bat so that it can be tested for rabies, but rabies incidence is low and I'm batproof now.)
posted by Frowner at 7:40 AM on October 31, 2012 [11 favorites]

So very cute! I love the one singing a love song.

And speaking of songs, I feel like any post about bats would be incomplete without a link to Wesley Willis' classic, Vampire Bat. There is also a choral arrangement.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:41 AM on October 31, 2012

Frowner: Maybe you should consider if you are in fact a kind of bat?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:42 AM on October 31, 2012

13. Prone to flying through the windows of mansions owned by moody, vengeance-driven billionaire orphans.
posted by Rangeboy at 7:43 AM on October 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

posted by Egg Shen at 7:47 AM on October 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

posted by Kitteh at 7:56 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

A little black pipistrelle, la ratapignata, is also the popular symbol of the city of Nice! (Self-link, I still seem to be the only person to have written about its non-Carnaval origins in English.) I'm very happy to have at least one on my patio.

The UK Bat Conservation Trust is also a great site with directions for different bat boxes. The Kent Bat Box is super-simple. Btw, you should NOT stain or paint bat houses/boxes, since it's toxic to them, even organic paints and stains.
posted by fraula at 8:06 AM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

14. They taste great.
posted by Nomyte at 8:24 AM on October 31, 2012

I was getting set to complain about the lack of baby bats wrapped in little tiny blankets BUT OF COURSE THEY ARE THERE.

I love love love love bats.

Another fact I learned while rescuing a bat (just a li'l guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.) They are the softest creatures ever. I'm not saying go out and pet one, just that I feel lucky I got to do that.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:24 AM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

They can receive blow jobs while they are having intercourse. They are obviously far more advanced than humans.
posted by orme at 8:41 AM on October 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Frowner: Maybe you should consider if you are in fact a kind of bat?

Perhaps some kind of bat-human hybrid? A bat-man, if you will? Or in my case a bat-woman. I wonder if I could turn my strange powers - if any - to the benefit of society?
posted by Frowner at 8:46 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

"At present, we do not know why genital licking occurs..."
SOMEbody spent too much time in the books at college, and not enough in the stacks, if you get my drift.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:10 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was thinking about making an FPP for Bat World Sanctuary's rescue and rehabilitation efforts, but it's really thin and mostly an excuse to link to their YouTube videos. (They're the organization famous for their Lil'Drac videos, I and II.)
posted by gladly at 9:12 AM on October 31, 2012

When we first moved into our house 20+ years ago, I remember walking up to my wife and a neighbor who were having a conversation across the fence. As I approached, the neighbor said "I've been seeing a lot of bats lately."

"I know," my wife said. "Isn't it great!"

And it was then that I knew from the neighbor's face that we came from two very different worlds.
posted by maurice at 9:32 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

fraula: "A little black pipistrelle, la ratapignata, is also the popular symbol of the city of Nice!"
Bats in heraldry. Per Noctem Volamus!
posted by brokkr at 9:40 AM on October 31, 2012

15. In Michigan, many bats migrate North in the Fall to spend the winter in abandoned mines in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Millie Mine Bat Viewing site.
posted by bricksNmortar at 9:46 AM on October 31, 2012

and I'm batproof now.

Yeah but, I'm Batman.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 10:17 AM on October 31, 2012

The little "wild" patch at the back of the semi-communal garden (one big one spread over three houses) at my parent's home had a bat roost at the back and many a summer night we'd sit out on the terrace and saw/felt something fly overhead eating the mosquitos.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:18 AM on October 31, 2012

I present to you: Kittybats! by MetaFilter's own hydrophonic.
posted by phunniemee at 10:48 AM on October 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

16. Bats throughout history have been trained to do simple tasks. They carried messages from England to the French Resistance during WWII. It was very inefficient. Only 1 out of every 5,000 bats actually had a message from the English, and oftentimes the message would be destroyed when they poached the bats in butter.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:29 PM on October 31, 2012

I'm batproof now.

You should put that on your business card.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:30 PM on October 31, 2012

17. [requires batshitinsane tag] Bat guano is a remarkably good fertilizer for fruits and flowers.
posted by beagle at 1:07 PM on October 31, 2012

I am deeply disturbed by the fact that people would even consider eating a bat.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 1:19 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

In Minecraft yesterday I swatted at a bat with my sword just to see what would happen and I killed it and it made such a sad, pitiful, betrayed little sound that I almost started crying. I love bats. I'm sorry I killed that virtual one. :(
posted by mudpuppie at 1:20 PM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

We have bats round our country cottage in Sweden.
When we bought the place some years ago we had bats in our country cottage.
Here they are a protected species and may on no account be killed, injured or shouted at.

Looking up the details of battery I discovered;
that they consume 1500 mosquitoes a day. Which in Sweden is good.

furthermore that they migrate during the winter just like some species of birds.
That is impressive.

And that they are cute (we have pipistrelles)
but that I knew.

My brother in Devon tells me that bat shit is highly corrosive
and causes major damage to the woodwork in the old churches there,
posted by jan murray at 2:49 PM on October 31, 2012

The short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx exhibits resource defence polygyny and one sexually active male often roosts with groups of females in tents made from leaves. Female bats often lick their mate’s penis during dorsoventral copulation. The female lowers her head to lick the shaft or the base of the male’s penis but does not lick the glans penis which has already penetrated the vagina. Males never withdrew their penis when it was licked by the mating partner. A positive relationship exists between the length of time that the female licked the male’s penis during copulation and the duration of copulation. Furthermore, mating pairs spent significantly more time in copulation if the female licked her mate’s penis than if fellatio was absent. Males also show postcopulatory genital grooming after intromission.

As scientists are not supposed to leap to conclusions, the researchers wrote that "at present, we do not know why genital licking occurs.”
posted by hypersloth at 8:30 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I rate this post BAT-TASTIC!
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 8:45 PM on October 31, 2012

Breakthrough Hendra virus vaccine released for horses.

In a major milestone in the fight against the potentially fatal Hendra virus, the first vaccine for horses is being made available from today.

The bat-borne disease has claimed the lives of four of the seven people infected and has worried horse owners and workers since it was first identified in Brisbane in 1994.

Hopefully this will help put an end to the cull of bats in Eastern Australia - the big fruit eating bats known as flying foxes. They're huge. They nest in massive colonies, and of an evening through the summers you can see them flying low over our major cities.

Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've seen a red metropolitan sky choked with the wingspan of enormous bats.
posted by Jilder at 12:47 AM on November 1, 2012

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