Tag science

Moth mufflers

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I found a very interesting article about bat prey, specifically different species of deaf moths, to write about this week. As bats use echolocation to find their prey, it is…

Trouble in the heartland

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. And I hope you had a very happy Friday the 13th! I have some sad news. The fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome was recently detected in North Dakota for…

Sing, sing a song

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. Save Lucy’s President, Mrs. Sturges, found an interesting article that looks into the mystery of bat sounds. Scientists have found that some of the sounds that bats make resemble those of birds. Out of the 1,300 different bat species, the social vocalizations of about 50 have been studied. Of those 50, scientists discovered that about 20 of them are actually singing. It’s hard to hear bats singing if you go outside and watch them flying around. This is because a bat’s vocal range is in the ultrasonic range that is inaudible to human ears. In order to hear the bats’ sounds and research them further, scientists recorded bats singing and slowed them down. Their research has shown some similarities between bat and bird songs. Both bats and birds use the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex parts of their brains to sing. Scientists believe that neural circuits also control bat vocals and how they are able to sing. Even though most bat species sing in an ultrasonic range, one species loves to sing in a range that humans can hear. The singing of the Greater Sac-Winged bat can be heard for miles. If you would like to read more about bats singing, you can find the article here. And now for a public service announcement. Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday. Don’t forget to move your clocks 1 hour ahead before you go to bed tonight.

Can engineering match the agile flap flaps??

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I was home sick all week, so I didn’t really do much. I read an article about a new study being worked on by engineers at the University of British Columbia. The researchers are studying bat flight to help them develop better drones and other aerial vehicles. First the engineers built an aluminum bat wing and putting it in a wind tunnel. They then made a 3D computer model of the wing. They are studying how air flow affects the way a bat flies. Next, the engineers will make a physical model of a bat. This model will be used to study a bat in motion. Information learned will be used to optimize drone flight. They are hoping to make drones that will fly like automated bats with flapping wings. Groups of drones will be able to fly in a flock and will be used by businesses and emergency response. If you would like to read more, you can find the article here.

Rain, rain–go away!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I found a really interesting article about bats. The article is all about the importance of background noises. Some people think that background noise is a nuisance. Bats, however use the noises that they hear outside of their roosts to plan their outings. A group of researchers decided to test how background sounds affected a bat’s hunting habits. The scientists selected two bat colonies, one being the common big-eared bat (Micronycteris microtis) and the other the Pallas’s mastiff bat (Molossus molossus), and simulated the sounds of heavy downpours. When the bats heard the sounds, they stayed in their roosts! Bats don’t like flying in the rain because when their wings get wet, they have to use more energy to fly. Scientists don’t know exactly why else bats don’t like rain, but they believe it might jam their echolocation and their ability to navigate and find their dinner. The bats in the simulation didn’t like rain and decided to stay inside. For a comparison, the scientists also simulated the sound of normal forest sounds. The bats only stayed inside when the rain sounds were playing. The common big-eared bat also sent out a bat to investigate their environmental conditions. If you want to read more about this study, you can find it here.

A delightful sac of smell!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! Yesterday, a dam at an iron-ore mine in Brazil collapsed. Because of this disaster, I thought I would research a bat from Brazil. I found a very cute bat! It looks like a shrew that knows something you don’t. It’s called the Greater sac-winged bat. In addition to Brazil, these bats live in several other Central and South American countries. Their range is from central Mexico, through Central America, into South America. They live in the South American countries of Brazil, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, Guyane, and the Antillean islands. The Greater sac-winged bat has dark brown fur, and some have zig-zag stripes on their back. They have long noses and upper lips that are very mobile. They get their name from the small sacs or pouches on their wings. While grooming themselves, the males fill their sacs with drops of urine and glandular secretions. When they are trying to attract a female, the male will hover over her and flap the scent in their sacs toward her. They will also use this technique to ward off other bats from outside their territory. Another interesting fact about these bats is that their pups babble. They will vocalize calls and other sounds, but jumbled up just like a human baby’s babbles. This is the first mammal that is not a primate to be seen babbling. If you’d like to read more about the Greater sac-winged bat, you can find information here.

My what Grinchy eyes you have!!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I had a fantastic week because it was the last week of school before winter break! I am going to enjoy the next two weeks by sleeping late and celebrating the holidays with my family. Since it is the Christmas season, I decided to write this week’s blog on a bat that, in my opinion, looks very similar to the Grinch. It took some looking but I found an adorable critter called the Little White-shouldered bat. These bats have leaf shaped noses that resemble the Grinch’s famous smirk. They have brownish-gray fur with striking white shoulders that give them their name. They also have yellow eyes that look so cool! Little White-shouldered bats have big, almost see-through, ears that look adorable atop their small heads! Not a lot of information has been collected on what these bats eat, but scientists have looked at the teeth of Little White-shouldered bats and concluded that they probably eat insects like most bats in America. They live in Central America into Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Trinidad, and Bonaire Island. These bats like to roost in tropical forests near streams. They are typically found in evergreen forests. If you want read more about Little White-shoulder bats you can do so here. I also found a very cute story about how bats saved Christmas. If you would like to read it, you can find it here: I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!