Listen carefully on a quiet summer night and you might hear them. Even if you don’t see a bat’s frantically fluttering form, you might catch its high-pitched chirp as it searches the night for dinner. You’re probably hearing a little brown bat, a common insect-eater found throughout North America, but it is just one of more than a thousand species of bat ranging from the one-inch-long Kitti’s hog-nosed bat to the enormous, three-pound giant golden-crowned flying fox. Continue reading Why Bats Are One of Evolution’s Greatest Puzzles
Finding new diseases is difficult and dangerous work. In the middle of the night, the researchers would get dressed in protective gear. They would wear suits that covered them from head to toe, goggles, two pairs of gloves, and boots. Then they would go to caves and set up nets to capture bats and tarps to collect their droppings. There would be so many bats that it would take the team just a few minutes to have hundreds to sample. Continue reading Smithsonian Scientists Discover Six New Coronaviruses in Bats in Myanmar
As if bats weren’t badass enough, we now know that their wings are loaded with ultra-sensitive sensors that help the bats maneuver like airborne ninjas. This could lead to aircraft design that might reduce turbulence, improve flight control, and generally be a lot less clumsy.