Cassandra Raby answered on 13 Nov 2013:
Yay, I love bats!
My favourite is a Common pipistrelle because it lives in the UK, and it is so tiny!
Did you know? Some bats (especially in America) are getting a disease called White nose syndrome. This gives the bats a white fluffy nose – which is actually fungus growing on it!
This disease is causing loads of problems in bats and killing off so many of them! And scientists are working really hard to find out why. Another reason studying disease ecology is so important!
Sofia Franco answered on 13 Nov 2013:
Love them! Plus they eat insects and are really important to the ecossystems! Some can eat half of their weight in insects in one night! My favourite is Myotis daubentonii also know as Daubenton’s Bat! In Portugal is called “Morcego de Agua” or Water Bat (in english) because they hunt a lot over water!
Karen Bacon answered on 13 Nov 2013:
I love bats – I think they’re really cool. There are many more species of bats, over 1,000!, then most people think and they fill all sorts of different roles in different ecosystems. Some bats even pollinate certain flowering plants! Bats are a very important component of the wildlife of the UK and make up over a quarter of UK wild mammals. My favourite is probably the brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), which is native to the UK. I think their giant ears, which help them find their way through echolocation, are just incredibly cute.
Bats are also really interesting to scientists studying disease because of how they interact with viruses. Bats can carry some viruses that are very dangerous to humans, like Ebola or SARs, but not get sick from them and scientists are working on trying to figure out why this is the case.
Thomas Doherty-Bone answered on 13 Nov 2013:
Not sure what species it is, but when I was in Uganda, when it rained you could hear very metallic “TONK! TONK! TONK!” from the trees. I was told that was a bat, I think something to make that noise would be some kind of fruit bat. It was males declaring their territory. With the noise they make, I reckon their nose looks really weird. Never got to see it up close, but that’s the most intriguing one I can think of, cos I’ve never seen it. So….that one 😉
For a bat for which I know the species and what it looks like: the New Zealand Short-tailed Bat. This bat is one of few that land on the forest floor and scamper around looking for bugs and earthworms. I stops using echolocation (except to get the bearings of its surroundings – to “look” around) and uses normal hearing – they put their ears to the ground. If you get the opportunity, check out Attenborough’s “Life of Mammals”, which shows a load of these knocking round the forest’s leaf litter, fighting over a worm, pretty cool 🙂
There is little not to like about bats. And it seems our panel thinks the same. Even the one’s that drink our blood and spread disease, they’re still cool and pretty useful too. Would be an honour to give a Vampire Bat some blood. I understand the conservationist Gerald Durrell slept on a veranda in Argentina with his toe out to lure a Vampire Bat, but to no avail (he later learned they carry rabies).