Going Batty for Bats
On Tuesday, our class was delighted to welcome Alyson into our room for a Skype session all the way from the USA! We Skyped for a period of about 45 minutes which seemed to fly by because she was so informative and engaging.
Alyson gave us some clues about where she was skyping from including:
- BBQs are famous here
- This state has the world’s biggest rodeo
- Lots of people wear cowboy hats
Yes, Alyson was talking to us from Texas!
Alyson is a bat biologist. She is a PhD candidate and studies wildlife. In her introduction, she showed us pictures of places around the world where she’s traveled and the different animals she’s worked with. She told us that her love of wildlife started at a very young age.
The students had many wonderful questions and were able to come up to the laptop and directly ask Alyson.
Here’s some of the things we learned:
- There are 1400 species of bats and only 3 of those drink blood
- Vampire bats are real but they leave only a papercut wound. Their saliva causes the blood not to clot
- Bats are mammals and have fur
- Babies are born live and are called pups
- They hang upside down because it’s easier to escape predators when they can simply let go of the branch and take flight
- They eat frogs, mice, insects, fruit, nectar, blood
- Bats are found everywhere in the world except Antarctica
- Bats are important to our ecosystem so we should care about them!
- Bats disperse seeds and take care of pests
- Bats can get a disease called White Nose Syndrome which is a fungus
- Bats did not cause Covid
- Bats are not blind and no bats have red eyes
- Bats echo locate and each bat has its own call
Alyson was asked what was her favourite species of bat and she said it was the wrinkle-faced bat:
Today, one of my students said that bats are his new favourite animal. Who knows…we may just have a future bat scientist in our classroom right now!
Thank you, Alyson for inspiring us and spending your time with us!