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.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
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  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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