Going batty at Fayette's library 2012.10.26

Written by David Green.

bat.boyHow long have bats been around?

Fossilized bats have been found dating back 40 to 55 million years ago, said Amanda Podach, educator for the Fulton Soil and Water Conservation office in Wauseon. They coexisted with dinosaurs.

Amanda visited Fayette’s after-school program Thursday at Normal Memorial Library, and brought along a freeze-dried bat for students to examine.

The bat gets a bad rap, needlessly frightening people, but it plays an important role in the ecosystem. The little brown bat—the species common to this area—is capable of eating 600 moths and mosquitoes in an hour, every night of the summer.

“That’s a big eater,” Amanda said.

Can bats bite? Of course, Amanda said, but anything with a mouth can bite. Bats don’t want anything to do with humans, and when a “giant” person approaches a small bat, the bat might act aggressively for self-protection.

There is a vampire bat, she said, but it lives far away in South America. The vampire bat has a numbing solution in its saliva that numbs the skin of a sleeping cow. The bat then makes a slit in the skin and laps up the blood like a cat. The cow sleeps right through the feeding.

There are more than a thousand species of bats spread around every continent but Antarctica, including one with a wingspan as wide as a human is tall.

It’s the only flying mammal, Amanda said, and an important member of the animal world.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016