Lucy's Blog

Information, musings, and news about Bats

Habitat, habitat, have to have a habitat
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week!   I have some very good news for this week’s blog! Back in October of 2018, The Tropical Audubon Society and the North American Butterfly Association’s Miami Blue Chapter filed for protection of the Florida Bonneted Bat. Three days ago, on February 12, the US Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to protect the environment of the Bonneted Bats! Their habitat is being destroyed by urbanization and the sea-level rising. The agreement states that agencies that want to use the land in the bats’ habitat now need to contact the US Fish…
What the guano knows
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! There is a secluded cave in the forests of northwestern Jamaica that holds information of how the environment has changed since the early Bronze Age. Bat guano may not seem important; however, it holds details of what the bats were eating along with what their environment was like. After years of bats living in the same cave, their guano accumulates and records information. In the past, guano has influenced humanity in many ways. For thousands of years, humans have used guano from bats and birds as a natural fertilizer. Guano…
Flying through hoops!
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I found an interesting article about helping bats that are hibernating in caves. Torpor, a state of lowered body temperature and much slower metabolism, is very important for cave hibernating bats. This torpor is often interrupted by people who are happy to explore underground, which can cause bats to burn off of precious stored fat. In order to lessen the amount of human caused disturbances in caves, many caves have been closed off to the public during known hibernation times. Sometimes by closing off the cave to the public, the…
Check out those cephalium!
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I am excited because I have a four-day weekend! Yay! I was doing some research and found something interesting. Most of the plants that nectar-drinking bats eat from have evolved to reflect ultrasonic waves. This makes it easier for the bats to find them when they echolocate. However, there is a plant from the Ecuadorian Andes mountains that absorbs the waves. The plant, Espostoa frutescens, is a cactus with small flowers that open during the night and is mainly populated by the Geoffroy’s tailless bat. These bats are adorable and…
Say, can you spare a quarter?
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week. Mine was great because it snowed! Ok, so it only snowed about an inch, but it gave us a day off of school.  I am very happy because I just learned that a new US quarter for 2020 will feature a picture of bats! It will be released on February 3rd, as a US Mint’s America the Beautiful quarter. It is so adorable. It depicts a mother Samoan fruit bat hanging upside-down with her baby. I’ve talked about these bats before as one of my Bat Scout Cookies. The bat…
To Australia, with love
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week, Happy New Year, and Happy New Decade!  Much of Australia is currently on fire. So far tens of thousands have had to evacuate, hundreds of millions of animals have died, at least 15 people have died, and the State of New South Wales declared a state of emergency. So far this has been to worst fire season in Australia’s recorded history.  Because of all the devastation, I thought I would write about a cute bat from Australia. I found one called the Yellow-Bellied Sheath tail bat! These adorable critters have…
What’s stinky, heavy, covered in spikes, pollinated by bats, and worth $15 billion* a year???
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I had a wonderful first week of winter break. No big snows yet, but the car has frozen shut a few times! I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays! I found an article about how bats are still being overlooked despite how helpful they are. But the durian fruit is teaching farmers just how important bats are. The durian fruit, also known as the world’s smelliest fruit, is vital to the farming economy in Indonesia. The fruit has an export value of more than $3.34 million and is very…
Fungus in the canyon?
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I had a wonderful week full of holiday parties and cookies! Sadly though, I have some potentially unfortunate news. It appears that the Grand Canyon National Park has begun increasing surveillance for White Nose Syndrome. This doesn’t mean that the fungus has been detected yet, however a test they ran earlier this year on a fringed bat came up inconclusive. This means that the fungus might be in the Grand Canyon. And with 22 bat species, 12 of them winter hibernators, officials can never be too careful. Officials say they…
Skulls R cool!
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I read a very interesting article about a study dedicated to finding what types of evolutionary forces help shape animals. A group of biologists at the University of Washington researched the diversity of bat skulls. The researchers used scans of skulls of over 200 bat species to look into what physical changes have occurred over millions of years. In a paper published on May 2, they reported that the two main factors of evolution in bats is echolocation and diet.   Using 3-D scans of jaw shapes for 191 species…
Fight the Fungus!
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I am very excited for Thanksgiving break! I get almost a whole week off school! Then it’s only three more weeks until Winter Vacation!  I have some interesting news to share with you all today. White Nose Syndrome has had a devastating impact on bat populations for the past thirteen years. Just recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a challenge for anyone to participate in. The challenge is simple, any individuals or teams who find innovative ways to permanently eradicate, weaken, or disarm the White Nose Disease will…
When your microbiome’s close to home…
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! Recently, scientists started looking into the microbiome of bats and realized that they are very different from those of other mammals. In humans, our microbiome, specifically the gut bacteria, helps keep us healthy. The microbes help digest our food and help with a range of health conditions. In fact, all mammals have microbes that follow a similar set of rules and have evolved with the mammals. A lot of the time, the mammal and their respective microbiome have evolved to need each other to survive. Because of this, many species…
Freetails in Fiji
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! Mine was wonderful because I had Monday and Tuesday off of school because of Teacher Work Days! That means I had a four-day weekend to sleep late! I found an interesting article about bats in Fiji and how people are working to help them. There are only six mammal species native to the Fiji Islands, and all of them are bats! There are Fijian Monkey-faced bats, Samoa flying-foxes, Insular flying-foxes, Long-tailed fruit bats, Fijian mastiff bats, and Polynesian sheath-tailed bats. Sadly, all but one of these species are in trouble.…

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