Hello again bug fans. Hold onto your seats, because it’s time for another edition of Friday Flyers! And in case you forgot what’s just around the corner, let us be the first to wish you a Happy Halloween! The reason we’re jumping the gun by a few days is that this week’s topic is very appropriate---BATS!!! We’re not talking about bat-shaped cookies, bat-shaped candy or even Bat Man costumes. We’re talking about real furry, scary, hideous bats!!! If you haven’t visited our Wonders Of Nature department lately, you may not realize that we have framed bats. While we specialize in butterflies and insects, bats are probably our best selling category. So this week we’d like to tell you why.
First, before we go any further, we’d like to assure you that the bats we have for sale have been imported legally and have had all the necessary inspections. In fact, our bats are primarily the result of eradication projects, from which the best of them have been salvaged for discriminating collectors. Of the approximately 1,100 species of bats worldwide, only a few species are made available in this way.
In case you didn’t know, bats are mammals!!! They are a highly specialized group, the only mammals that can truly fly. Bats are more agile flyers than most birds, and they do so in the dark, because they only fly at night!!! Bats most closely resemble rodents like mice, but their front legs have become wings with a leathery membrane stretching between drastically elongated fingers. The hind legs have evolved into a webbed stabilizer which incorporates their tail. And their hind feet have evolved into talon-like claws which they use almost exclusively to hang in their characteristic upside down position while at rest. When spread for flight, bats have characteristics similar to birds, but have evolved this way totally independently from birds.
In addition to their unique wing shapes, bats come in a variety of colors, they have a wide variety of facial features, they always have huge ears, and some species have very menacing teeth. The ears of a bat are their most important sensory organ. Because they fly at night, vision is fairly useless. While some bats have excellent vision, many species are blind!!! All bats depend on Echolocation, like super-accurate sound-based radar. Bats chirp out ultra-high-frequency sounds that bounce off of objects and reflect back to the bat’s ears. The bat’s brain analyzes this constant barrage of sonic reflections, and allows the bat to “see” its 3-dimensional world so accurately, that it can detect a mosquito from a distance without being able to see it, and catch it in its mouth while both are flying!!!
Bats have an average lifespan of 5 or 6 years, but some species can live more than 20 years. Bats come in a wide range of sizes with wingspans from a few inches to SIX FEET!!! As with most animals, there are more species in the tropics than anywhere else. There are approximately 1,100 species of bats worldwide, with 45 of them living in America and Canada. Bats have a variety of food sources depending on the species, including flying insects, fruit, flower nectar and pollen, and even blood. One study recorded a bat eating 600 mosquitoes in an hour, that’s 1 every 6 seconds!!! We have encountered bats on all of our jungle trips. They are attracted by the moth collecting lights, or rather by the insects that are attracted to the lights. Sometimes the bats are a nuisance because they eat the very insects we are trying to attract and photograph. On the other hand, there are plenty of insects to go around in the jungle, and occasionally you get a bat in the photograph!
All in all, bats are amazing animals, which explains why visitors to our Wonders Of Nature department are so fascinated with our bat collection. We have a wonderful assortment of Framed bats including single hanging black bats starting at $165, giant single spread bats at $275, and double framed bats starting at $295. If you haven’t visited us lately, you should really make it a point to see our bats. You can’t help but be fascinated by them!
We hope you liked this week’s Friday Flyers, and we hope you’ll share it with all your Facebook friends! And be sure to check out all of our bat pictures in our Friday Flyers album – we have some great shots that we took during an insect research trip to South America!
One of our GIANT framed bats from our store! This monster is $275, and he has HUGE teeth!!
Smile! Now, if you're not afraid of bats, WHY NOT!?!?!?!
Rare and beautiful, this pair of Fire Bats is $295 from our Wonders of Nature store.
The classic bat pose! These are best sellers for us, and we have them priced at just $165 each!
An exceptional picture we took while doing nighttime jungle research in Ecuador! This bat was feeding at a hummingbird feeder not one foot from our faces!
This bat’s tongue is fully extended in this picture. We used the highest speed film possible to capture this!