Bats Essay Research Paper BatsINTRODUCTIONThere are an

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Bats Essay, Research Paper Bats INTRODUCTION There are an innumerous amount of animal species in the world. They all have adapted and evolved to survive in their surroundings. Some have grown fins, others legs, and still others wings. One of the animals that has grown wings is the bat. The bat is a truly great creature. It has all the characteristics of mammals while also possessing the skill in flight of a bird. There are more than 800 species of bats in the world. They are of many different sizes, shapes, and lifestyles. They live all over the world and have drawn the curiosity of millions. Bats also have the unique quality of echolocation that it uses to catch insects. Though other mammals, like the flying squirrel seem to fly but actually glide the bat is the only mammal

that can truly fly (Lauber 1). A Bat?s Body Due to the great variety of species of bats some characteristics vary greatly but the Little Brown Bat is a good example of a bat. It has fur on its body, large naked ears, its rear legs have claws, it has a tail membrane, and it has the most distinguishing feature of a bat, wings (Lauber 9). The upper arm of the bat is short while the forearm is very long. The wrist is very small and from it comes the thumb and the four longer fingers. The thumb is short and used for climbing or walking. The fingers are long and thin. Interlocking the fingers is the wing. This set up of having the fingers in the wing gives the bat amazing flight maneuverability (Honders 22). These bones look similar to a human hand. They are connected by rubbery skin

to the bat’s body enveloping all the fingers but the thumb (Bats in CT 1). Echolocation Bats have a “sixth sense” called echolocation. This was first proved by Donald Griffin. Bats produce ultrasonic sound waves and then use the echo of the returning sound to sense the world around them and in particularly to catch insects. These sounds are usually out of the humans range of hearing (Fellman 42). This system is similar to that of dolphins. The sound is in the form of clicks that increase as the bat gets closer to the insect or whatever it is tracking (Bats in CT). Unlike humans most insects can hear the bat’s echolocation sounds. David D. Yager of the University of Maryland has found that the praying mantis has used this to its advantage. When being pursued by a bat the

mantis can hear the clicks of the bat behind it and to avoid being eaten goes into a series of evasive maneuvers. First they extend their fore limbs and then extend their abdomens that stops them. Then they go into a dive going twice their usual speed and if still being pursued will crash into the ground to avoid being eaten. This and other insects also use hearing to their advantage (Amato 781). Moths also do amazing maneuvers in attempts of escape similar to the mantis. Tiger moths even make their own ultrasonic clicks. It is not known whether these are to startle the bat or to warn it that the moth is distasteful. Despite the insects great efforts to foil the bat?s sonar the bat still catches its prey more than 50% of the time (Fellman 93). Some bats even have different

frequencies than insects can hear. The competition between insects and bats will go on forever because they will counter each others counter measures of how an animal can evolve to how amazing abilities. Bats have evolved to fly, use echolocation, hibernate, sleep in the day, hang by their feet, and many other things that individual species have developed. Some large bats, called megabats, are even thought by some scientists to be closely related to primates because of their similar brain tissue. Bats are highly evolved animals that have amazing characteristics. (Gibbons 1992, Bailey et al. 1992) HIBERNATION AND MIGRATION The food of bat usually becomes scarce during winter months so some bats hibernate while others migrate (Honders 75, Bourliere 95). When bats migrate they