Bats visit elementary school 2011.02.16

Written by David Green.

bats.hanging_aroundBats.

They’re scary. They’re spooky. They get stuck in your hair and make a nest. They’ll bite and you’ll turn into a vampire.

The much maligned bat is none of these, said Michelle Macintosh of the Organization for Bat Conservation. She punctured a few myths for Morenci Elementary School students last week and she brought along a few furry friends for students to study.

Bats are usually associated with Halloween, Macintosh said, but in this area, bats are already hibernating or have migrated south by the end of October.

And that thing about nesting in your hair?

bats.wingspread“They don’t want your hair,” she said. “They don’t want anything to do with you.”

Vampire bats don’t live in this area, Macintosh said, and besides, they aren’t a very frightening animal.

The small vampire bat will walk along the ground until it encounters an animal such as a cow. It makes a small incision and licks a little blood. No sucking; just a small lick. The blood of humans tends to sicken bats, Macintosh said, so visits from vampires are rare.

People should develop some affection for bats, Macintosh suggested, because a single bat can eat up to a thousand insects an hour.

Some species help pollinate flowers and disperse seeds. An anticoagulant found in the saliva of vampire bats is used to make a medicine that breaks up blood clots in humans.

Long-tongued bat. Big-eared bat. Long-nosed bat. Silver-haired bat. Leaf-nosed bat. Ghost-faced bat. Pallid bat. Small-footed bat.

There are more than 1,100 species of bats around the world that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The little brown bat is the common species in this area.

If a bat has big eyes and a long nose, it’s a fruit eater, Macintosh said. That’s the case with the world’s largest bat—the golden crowned fruit bat or flying fox—that measures six feet from wing tip tobats.look.3 wing tip.

Think about one of those flying around your bedroom in the night.

  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017