Our bat hero patrols the night, seeking out the villains that torment and harass the citizens. He uses his highly developed bat senses to zero in on the perpetrator, then with uncanny accuracy, he swoops down to nab the villain.
Batman is the latest rage of children, perhaps outshining those adolescent turtle critters and giving competition to the mighty morphers. Our hero swoops down upon the villain and defeats him, making life safer and more pleasant for the citizens.
Batman is admired by all people, (the honest ones, of course), of Gothem. Our hero is feared and hated by the evils. What a pity that the real bat creatures of the world are also heroes, but are usually treated as if they were the villains.
For a very long time, the bat has been associated with all sorts of negative superstitions and tales. Perhaps it is because he is a creature of the night that he is so greatly misunderstood. A common view of the bat is a loathsome flying rat creature who's greatest goals in life are to spread disease, get tangled in people's hair, and seek entrance to you house with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc.
But the poor little bat is far from loathsome. In fact, his goals in life are to cruise the night skies seeking insects that plague us humans, quite often moths and mosquitoes, for his dinner. A single bat can eat hundreds of insects in a single night.
The bat only gets into houses by accident and would like nothing better at that point than to get back out. And as for hair, he has no attraction to that.
The bat holds the distinction of being the only mammal that can sustain flight. Most bats are better flyers than birds, being able to fly more slowly and with far better maneuverability.
The old saying "blind as a bat" is quite incorrect. No bat is blind, but has well developed sight and smell. Since sight is no help in darkness, bats navigate by echolocation. Echolocation is much like radar, the bat bounces sound off objects to ascertain their direction.
Bats roost during the day in caves, hollow trees, under rocks or in old barns. Some live alone, others in groups. They usually produce only one young per year. This may be because bats have such a long life-span. Some live to about twenty years; the record is thirty one years.
The accusation that bats transmit disease, particularly rabies, is almost completely unfounded. This idea likely arises from the tropics where true vampire bats feed off blood from small wounds they inflict in cattle. These bats do bite their victims, and rabies is more prominent in the tropics then it is here, but actual rabies cases in bats have been rare.
It is the humans that have made bats the victims. Often developers building houses will find a colony of bats, and wipe out the entire group. Insects often carry traces of insecticides that we spray on crops and gardens. When the bat eats the insects, the pesticides collect, the bat's body cannot rid itself of the chemicals. Bats can die if the levels reach too high. Three species of bats are now on the endangered list. The insect-eating bats of this area cause no harm, and decrease the insect population.
For those who still hesitate to appreciate the little bats that eat insects and occasionally make a wrong turn and explore our houses, consider the larger megabat of Africa and India. If this bat came into your house, it would probably empty the house of human occupants - not because it would cause any harm, but because it's wing span is five feet.....
This page is best viewed when using Netscape 2.0.