Bat Week: Eight kids from across North America are proving that you don’t need to be an adult to help our bats! A series of four, 15-minute webcasts (airing 1pm ET from Tuesday 25th – Friday 28th of October at BatWeek.org) will dive into the efforts of eight young people to educate others on the benefits of bats, their habitats, the threats they face, and how they’re getting more people involved in conservation. Each video is also accompanied by a live Q&A session and educational materials for teachers and parents to continue the batty fun offline. The videos aim not only to teach, but also to inspire even more kids to get involved themselves!
You can also find out more information on how you can help bats at HelpTheBats.ca! You can also sign our bat pledge, get fun pumpkin carving templates, find out how to build a bat house and more!
Bats and Their Sounds: Have you ever wondered what bats sound like? They can produce a surprising number of sounds; you can listen to some examples here.
In fact, the males of some bat species ‘sing’ to attract females and defend territories. Listen to male short-tailed bats ‘singing’ in New Zealand here and male hammer-headed fruit bats in Africa producing honking calls here. A recent article summarized the literature on this interesting topic. Unlike in birds, singing is fairly rare in mammals but has been documented for some whale, rodent, and primate species. Singing has been documented in 20 bat species but is likely present in many more. This aspect of bat biology is understudied, but could yield insights into how language is acquired. Baby bats appear to learn how to verbalize much like human children, transitioning through a period of babbling before acquiring adult sounds. The complex adult songs of bats are likely not innate, and so require vocal learning as bird song and human speech do. Some adult bats are able to learn new songs throughout their lifespan, incorporating sounds they hear from other bats into their repertoire. Most of these songs are not audible to the human ear and have to be recorded with specialized equipment and modified. You can hear more bat songs here.