April 5: Bats of Devil’s Icebox and Around the World

Photo of a bat by Mark Evans, FlickrBats have gotten a bad rap.  For several centuries, folklore and fiction have linked them to vampires and sinister deeds, and these days myths circulate that bats are blind (they’re not), that bats get tangled in our hair (they don’t because their echolocation prevents it) and that bats are rodents (they’re actually more closely related to primates). Although they are frequently misunderstood, bats are important—and fascinating—creatures.

For example, bats are the only mammals capable of true flight—other “flying” mammals, such as the flying squirrel, can only glide. With over 1,000 species, bats are nearly the most diverse group of mammals on Earth today, second only to rodents. They vary in size from tiny (like the bumblebee bat, the smallest mammal in the world, which weighs less than a penny) to titanic (such as the flying fox, which has a six-foot wingspan).

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, the Columbia Public Library will host a presentation by Roxie Campbell, a park naturalist, titled “Bats of Devil’s Icebox and Around the World.” The presentation will cover more about these fascinating creatures, as well as teach about a deadly disease known as White-Nose Syndrome, which has threatened bat populations since it was first identified on the East Coast in 2006. We hope you’ll join us to learn more on April 5, but in the meantime you can enjoy the resources below!

DBRL Non-Fiction Books on Bats

Databases (library card required for access)
Grzimek’s Animal Life  (search for “bats”)
Access Science  (search for “chiroptera”)

Bat Conservation International: All About Bats
Defenders of Wildlife: Bat Facts and Video
National Geographic: Experts Debunk Bats’ Bad Rap

Now next time you encounter a bat at home, work or anywhere else, you’ll be able to stay calm and reassure others with your new-found knowledge!

About Emily Kickinson

Emily Kickinson, the alter ego of a mild-mannered library employee, spends a lot of time fighting crime. Unlike her real-life counterpart, she is good at comebacks, uses sarcasm appropriately, and has bright blue hair. If she could have one superpower, she'd be torn between flying and shooting lasers from her eyes. In the wild, Emily can be spotted actually hugging trees.
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