Research and Further Reading
Value of Bats in Pest Control
- Research Proves Bats Help Control Insect Pests - TPWD media release
| June 2005 | TPW magazine
... In a new study, scientists hope to quantify the value of bats in Texas. ... “Watching bats emerge is like watching flames of a fire — it’s mesmerizing.”....
Patrol | National Geographic
Radar follows bats in Texas as they gorge on crop pests.
- What it's like being a bat: getting a 3D map from echolocation. National Science Foundation. Article and video interview with their researcher. Great explanation on echolocation, video also linked on student page.
- The Boy Who Echolocates. Fascinating look at 14 year-old Ben Underwood,
blind since a toddler, who has learned to "see"
using his own version of echolocation. The CBS news version is linked on
the student page. The Extraordinary People version has more detail and additional
learning opportunities such as testing a hypothesis and social/emotional
topics on learning to cope. May be more suitable for older students. Part
two is linked on the student page since it talks about sonar and shows how
researchers formed a hypothesis and conducted an experiment on his skill.
CBS News video: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=1978900n or read the article: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/06/eveningnews/main1977730.shtml
Extraordinary People (10 minute segments)
part one -- introduction, note, it shows him putting in his eyes -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLziFMF4DHA
part two -- how people use echolocation, for example sonar -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1QaCeosUmw
part three -- scientific testing of his skills; mental mapping of new places -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikpNZOx5FGk
part four -- coping and being outdoors; learning a lesson -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Px-aPnk4ZU
part five -- resisting, tough lesson; outdoor trip -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNkJ1diTxOE
- Hidden Giants
| July 2008 | TPW magazine
... diving wasn't enough, sperm whales later evolved sophisticated built-in sonar to locate large squid in the night-black depths, much like bats evolved sonar....
Engineers studying the aerodynamics and maneuverability of bats
- How to Fly Like a Bat: Science News for Kids: www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20070509/Feature1.asp
- Bat flying in a wind tunnel video
- How Bats Fly, UC Berkeley: www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/vertebrates/flight/bats.html
Bat Flight for Engineering, research funded by the U.S. Air Force and
the National Science Foundation. "So one of the interests from an engineering
perspective is how can we use nature's examples, in particular bats' examples,
as the opportunity to fly in a maneuverable way," according to Brown
University engineering professor Kenny Breuer. Read more and see fascinating
video clips. http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id=218393014
More detail: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070118161402.htm
- International research on bat flight According to Geoffrey Spedding, an aerospace engineer from the University of Southern California (USC), who collaborated on the research, "Bats are agile hunters, capable of plotting and executing complex maneuvers through cluttered environments," he said. "These are the traits we'd like our unmanned air vehicles to have because there are so many complex rural and urban environments in which we could use them." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6644305.stm
- UT neurobiologist studies bat communication -- courtship, mom to baby, echolocation -- all sounds different. Includes quicktime audio files and video interview with the researcher.
Uses of Guano
- Guano Gathering
| January 2007 | TPW magazine
... Mexican free-tailed bats — 20 to 40 million of them — whirl out from the mouth of the cave for their nightly insect feast....
it in Uvalde | September 2003 | TPW magazine
...At the cave's mouth are the remains of a Civil War-era furnace used to convert bat guano into saltpeter to make gunpowder for the Confederacy. During World War II, a plan – approved by President Roosevelt and code-named "Project X-Ray" – was concocted to collect bats from this and three other Texas caves. The bats were to be fitted with tiny incendiary devices and dropped in droves over Japan. Supposedly, they would roost in the mainly wood and fiber buildings and set off countless fires. The bat bomb project was scrapped for the atomic bomb....
- A Cave with a Past
| December 2004 | TPW magazine
... History records that Confederate troops during the Civil War made gunpowder from guano left behind by the millions of Mexican free-tailed bats...
- ¡Hasta La
Vista, Murceélagos! | October 2003 | TPW magazine
... Texas is home to 32 of the 45 bat species found in the United States, but by far
the most numerous are Mexican free-tailed bats, Tadarida brasiliensis. ...
Bats and Humans
- Bat Rehab
| August 2007 | TPW magazine
... Like barely perceptible phantoms, fruit bats flit past Amanda Lollar in the twilight of the bat cave she has created inside a former furniture store...
- Bright Nights
| June 2006 | TPW magazine
Effects of lights on bats....All 986 species of bats in the world are nocturnal, equipped to do best in low light. Populations in rural areas like Devil ...
- Room to Roam
| November 2006 | TPW magazine
... Large mammals are well represented — mountain lion, coyote, black bear, bobcat and a host of smaller mammals, as well as 20 species of bats. ...
- Rocksprings Goes
Batty | August 2005 | TPW magazine
... Sunday evenings to take the 20-minute trip on a new, air-conditioned bus to Devil’s Sinkhole to watch the spectacular emergence of several million bats. ...
- Houston's Bat Bridge
| May 2006 | TPW magazine
... Standing atop the Waugh Drive bridge at Allen Parkway, a group gathers to hear TPWD urban biologist Diana Foss talk about Houston’s bats, and to witness ...
- Summer Solstice
and Solace | March 2004 | TPW magazine
... Not as large a maternal colony as Bracken or Frio River caves, the Eckert James River Bat Cave is home to 2 million female Mexican free-tailed bats. ...