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★ Bats

Bats: see Animals & Mammals & Cave & Fly

Brian Cox TV - David Attenborough & Natural World TV - Life on Fire & Jeremy Irons TV - Lewis Carroll - John Berryman - John Gay - William Shakespeare - Ebola Exposed TV - Richard Dawkins TV - Lost Land of the Volcano TV - Mexico: Festival of Life TV - Inside the Bat Cave TV - Natural World: Nature’s Biggest Beasts TV - 

 

 

 

A bat’s size clearly affects the speed at which it lives its life.  Brian Cox, Wonders of Life IV: Size Matters, BBC 2013

 

 

Some bats also used the crèche system.  David Attenborough, The Trials of Life II: Growing Up, BBC 1990

 

 

For a Vampire [bat] it pays to help your neighbours whether they are related or not.  David Attenborough, The Trials of Life IX: Friends and Rivals

 

 

Bats: Caves like this in Mexico contain the densest population of individual mammals found anywhere on Earth.  David Attenborough: Life on Earth: Mammals (revised series), BBC 1979

 

 

Bats: Flight and the ability to catch insects on the wing is an extraordinary achievement.  David Attenborough, The Life of Mammals II: Insect Hunters ***** BBC 2002

 

 

Fruit bats are extremely strong fliers.  They can travel great distances.  David Attenborough, The Life of Mammals VIII: Life in the Trees

 

This roost alone contains a staggering five million.  ibid.

 

 

There are also small fury mammals – bats ... they’re flying out to catch their evening meal of insects ... Bats are latecomers to the skies.  David Attenborough, The Life of Birds I: To Fly or Not to Fly? BBC 1998

 

 

Flowers that are pollinated by bats are rather more pungent.  David Attenborough’s Kingdom of Plants III, BBC 2012

 

 

The rain forests of Belize in central America.  And as evening falls and the shower comes to an end a predator begins to hunt: the greater bulldog bat, a flying mammal and a fisherman.  David Attenborough, Life e7: Hunters and Hunted, BBC 2009

 

 

Bats: Our night is their day.  The time when they feed and fight and mate and live our lives which we never see.  High in the Belfry, the first animals start to stir.  By human standards bats are upside down creatures.  David Attenborough

 

They are flying now all around my head.  This cave, this particular part of it – Oooh! [nearly sick] the ammonia is really quite choking – makes a very perfect place for a home.  ibid.

 

This great dune is not a dune of sand.  It’s a dune of guano, of animal droppings of one kind and another.  The entire surface is covered of it is covered by a glistening moving carpet of cockroaches.  ibid.

 

How prolific this part of Borneo can be.  That is can support all this enormity of bats ... What a marvellous place some animals think a cave is in which to live.  ibid.

 

Here is one of those fruit bats.  ibid.  David Attenborough with Mr Dolby of London Zoo, black and white film

 

A very foxy looking face.  ibid.

 

 

Mexico: a wild man.  The animals that live here do so in greater numbers and varieties than almost anywhere else on Earth.  With so much at stake one man has fought tirelessly to protect the wildlife of Mexico.  But there’s a particular creature he’s devoted his life to saving.  Rodrigo Medellin is the champion of one of the world’s most hated animals  bats.  David Attenborough, The Bat Man of Mexico  Natural World, BBC 2017

 

‘They call me the Bat Man.’  ibid.

 

There are thousands of bats here of many different species.  ibid.

 

Without bats there would be no tequila.  Bats are so vital in spreading pollen and seeds that they’re known as the farmers of the tropics.  Without them our crops and forests would collapse.  ibid.  

 

 

The vampire bat: Stories of giant blood-sucking bats have long been part of the culture of South American people.  Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities s2e5: Bad Reputation, Eden 2013

 

They must consume 50% of their own body weight in blood each night.  ibid.

 

There is another gentler side to these bats.  ibid.

 

 

Bats have made their home in the volcano’s labyrinth.  Life on Fire, Phoenix Temple: Jeremy Irons narrator

 

 

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!

How I wonder what you’re at!

Up above the world you fly!

Like a teatray in the sky.  Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

 

 

Bats have no bankers and they do not drink and cannot be arrested and pay no tax and, in general, bats have it made.  John Berryman  

 

 

The sun was set; the night came on apace,

And falling dews bewet around the place;

The bat takes airy rounds on leathern wings,

And the hoarse owl his woeful dirges sings.  John Gay, Shepherd’s Week, Wednesday; or The Dumps

 

 

Ere the bat hath flown

His cloister’d flight.  William Shakespeare, Macbeth III ii 40

 

 

On the bat’s back I do fly

After summer merrily.  William Shakespeare, The Tempest V i 91

 

 

It all seems to start with bats.  Ebola jumped into humans by mistake.  Ebola Exposed, Discovery 2015

 

 

I’ve speculated, in The Blind Watchmaker and elsewhere, that bats may ‘see’ colour with their ears.  Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

 

 

My next wonder of the world is a bat’s ear or the bat’s echo-location system.  Professor Richard Dawkins

 

 

Until quite recently scientists didn’t know how bats fly around in total darkness.  Could they have paranormal extra-sensory perception?  In the 1940s the American zoologist Donald Griffin demonstrated experimentally that bats use sonar – echo location – of their cries.  Back then sonar was brand new military technology and the theory that it was natural to bats outraged some of Griffin’s colleagues.  Richard Dawkins, Enemies of Reason, Channel 4 2007

 

 

A bat is a superbly engineered night flying attack aircraft; it is the product of a long arms-race.  Richard Dawkins, lecture New College of the Humanities 18 November 2013, ‘Why Evolution?’  

 

 

Flying Foxes  the largest bats on the planet ... eat almost exclusively fruit.  Lost Land of the Volcano II, BBC 2009

 

 

Bats are vital to life in the Yucatan keeping its insect population in check.  Earth’s Festival of Life II: Forests of the Maya, BBC 2017 

 

 

Summer 2019: The hidden world of one of Britain’s most endangered and least understood animals – bats.  Bats are mammals like us.  Yet they’re as alien as they could possibly be.  They’re the only ones that can fly.  They see the world using sound.  And spend most of their life in total darkness.  Inside the Bat Cave, Lucy Cooke reporting, BBC 2020

 

Bryanston in Dorset: home to one of the UK’s most important bat roosts: inside this old building is a colony of greater horseshoe bats, one of our rarest species.  ibid.     

 

Bryanston is one of only 35 Greater Horseshoe breeding colonies in the whole of Britain.  But their range and their numbers have shrunk drastically compared to a century ago.  ibid.

 

In cold conditions bats enter a state called torpor.  Their body temperature drops and their vital systems slow down reducing their need for food … Bats are thought to have evolved in the tropics; to adapt to colder climate they hibernate often in extraordinary ways … In cities, bats can be even more ingenious.  ibid.  

 

They sometimes live as long as thirty years.  ibid.        

 

The Brazilian freestyle bat has been clocked at an astonishing 160 kilometres per hour.  ibid.   

 

The tendons in the bat’s claws make them clasp shut when bearing its body weight … even months at a time.  ibid.      

 

 

Australia: The little red flying fox is not so little.  It’s a species of mega-bat with a body as big as a rat and heavier, and a wingspan of a metre.  Natural World: Nature’s Biggest Beasts, BBC 2022