Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Welcome To The Bat Cave

Batcave entrance
Can you see him hanging in the tree?

My husband with bat ears!

White Honduran Bats-so tiny and cute!

The smallest of bats-The Bumblebee Bat

When I was a very small child, I was attacked by a crazed bat. But more about that in a minute.
My husband and I went to The Science Museum Of Virginia on Saturday, and in the first room was a bat cave, so we entered! They had lots of exhibits and fun things to do. Bats are the only mammals that can fly. There are more than 1,000 species worldwide (yes, that's right!) and the state of Virginia, where we live, has 17 of those species. Some live in caves and some in trees. Around here, some people put bat boxes in their yards to attract them, because a single bat can catch about 1,200 mosquito sized insects in an hour! Bats are extremly clean and groom themselves almost constantly to keep their fur soft and clean. They are not even remotly related to rodents. They have their own group, called Chiroptera, and are grouped with primates and monkeys. They are not blind, as some think. But they are able to navigate at breakneck speed through the darkness thanks to their built in sonar system. When I was a very little girl, I was outside with my mom at twilight when a bat swooped down on my head. It scared both of us, but I was not really hurt or bitten. There is a myth that bats like to swoop down on people's hair, as the bat did to me. But they usually only do that when they see an insect by your head and are aiming at it. One evening when our family was outside at twilight, my sharp eyed daughter-in-law spotted a whole bunch of bats flying over us. Caves are not only a big deal for bats, but to people in Bible times. They used them to bury people in and to hide in. King David, Samson, and Elijah hid in caves. Obediah hid 100 prophets in two caves. And a group of five kings hid in a cave! I would probably be as afraid of the bats in there as the people I was running from! Jesus tomb was a cave with a large stone sealing it.

"An angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightening, and his clothes were white as snow...the angel said to the women "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said." Matthew 28:2


Sandra said...

I love the little tiny white bats, but not if they were flying around me. when we walked the dog for several years, at dusk they flew around us and i would shriek and duck. not my favorite thing, but great blog

Stephanie V said...

I love the tiny little bat on your finger. I know it's a scary bat but it's still beautiful. I used to enjoy watching them swoop for insects above the campfire when we did that - back in the olden days.
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SquirrelQueen said...

Bats are such fascinating creatures, I love to watch them. We have visited the bat house at the zoo in Portland, OR but I don't remember seeing the bumblebee bat. He is so cute.

Once at a RV park on the edge of a river the bugs were swarming. Just after dusk the bats came in and started plucking the smaller bugs out of the air, everyone was cheering for the bats. This was a fun post Ginny.