Dandy Designs title

Great Bat Gartherings-title

There are many animals and plants that benefit humans in profound ways of which we are largely unaware. In our ignorance, we may even disdain an animal that brings great advantages to us. One of the best examples is the bat. We generally associate bats with Halloween and vampires. I can still remember watching 1,600 students at Riley High School go crazy when a bat got into the school and flew back and forth up and down the hallways while students ran screaming as if their lives were in danger.

We are now learning that bats are great friends of mankind. A large bat colony will remove as much as 200 tons of insects from the environment every evening in summer months. Bat guano is used in the production of a number of products — including some perfumes.

How bats survive in the world is an amazing story. Recent studies of places like Bracken Cave northeast of San Antonio, Texas, have shown the incredible design that allows such magnificent insect control to occur.

The best hunting of insects is done at night, and in a hot climate like Texas in the summer that is also the best time for generating energy to fly without getting overheated. Bats spend their days in caves, under bridges, or in other dark, cool places. In Bracken Cave there are 40 million Mexican free-tailed bats that spend their days in the cave and venture out at night, with each bat eating its own body weight in insects. People visiting the cave say it sounds like a waterfall when the bats emerge. The bats have babies called pups which they leave attached to the cave walls. The youngsters are packed together with some 20 million babies compacted into 250 per square foot. This clumping conserves heat and allows the babies to be healthy. When the mothers return they somehow are able to find their pup among the 20 million babies that carpet the walls of the cave.

Science is still studying how all this is done, and how the bats use their sonar to locate food. How babies learn to fly is another area of great interest. You can see some of this research at www.batcon.org.

The design of this amazing creature which controls insects and uses resources efficiently in austere environments speaks highly of the intelligence and wisdom built into all we see. Truly we can see the mind of God through the things He has made (Romans 1:19 – 22).

Reference: National Wildlife, June/July 2010, page 30.


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