Frightening and scary and the stuff of nightmares is what it looks like when millions of bats flee their bat caves at the same damn time. This footage is from the Bracken Cave in San Antonio, Texas and it’s totally startling because it starts off so very peaceful and ends in frantic chaos. There are bats everywhere!
Bats are fascinating creatures—both from the point of scientific research and their place in the canon of the horror genre as spooky creatures of the night. So whether you’re a science person or a horror person, this shot of millions of bats streaming into the sky is either great, or great and fearsome.
Bats are suspected, although not proved, to have been the origin of multiple human diseases, including Ebola and rabies. New maps show the hot spots where outbreaks are most likely to occur, and which diseases are most likely to be transmitted from bats to humans. One of those is the region of the devastating 2014…
Bats find their way around at night by emitting noise and listening to the way it bounces back to them. But since bats often congregate in large groups, how do they keep from losing their own signal in the din? A new study found that they do this much in the same way children do: by trying to screech the loudest.
Bats are small, generally harmless to humans, and eat a lot of insects that would otherwise infect our bodies or ruin our fruit. That doesn’t stop this air-to-leaf pounce from being kind of scary, though.
Sometimes all it takes is a bat taking a crap in a bag to yield an interesting discovery. Here’s why we underestimated the contribution of the mouse-eared bat to the world, and how science corrected our misconception.
There are plenty of diseases that we contract from animals, but scientists were convinced that hepatitis A wasn’t one of them. A look at other diseases shows us that we’re wrong—and that bats played a part in passing on the disease to humans.
Vampire bats are the only vertebrates that feed on the blood of other mammals. But the ability to do so may be buried across the tree of life, according to a new study which pinpoints the underlying genetic origins of traits that make a good vampire.
Most nectar-eating bats hover in front of flowers and lap like crazy to shovel high-calorie goodness down their throats. But when some species of South American leaf-nosed bats cozy up to a flower, they just stick their tongues in and leave them there. They’re eating, but their tongues don’t seem to be moving at all.…
If you’ve had a cup of coffee recently, the plants it grew on may once have been home to bats and other threatened wildlife. It turns out that when coffee plantations encroach on natural forest habitat, bats are happy to live in the coffee.
Preserved specimens of a type of nectar-eating bat sit in museum drawers all over the world. But now it looks as though the museums have half as many of one type of bat as they thought they did. Or, looked at another way, they had twice as many kinds of bat.
The original footage of this battle between bats and crocodiles is already insane, as the crocs lurk in the water and chomp at the flying bats. But adding lasers to the crocs and fire bombs to the bats makes it even crazier. The warfare is like imagining a future where animals could use weapons.
Horseshoe bats’ unique noses and big, flexible ears make them nature’s most dynamic sonar arrays. Engineers built a mechanical version, and they’re testing it on a quadcopter drone.
Some species of moth can produce ultrasonic emissions that confuse echolocating bats, and they do it by rubbing their sex organs together.
As if bats weren’t badass enough, we now know that their wings are loaded with ultra-sensitive sensors that help the bats maneuver like airborne ninjas. This could lead to aircraft design that might reduce turbulence, improve flight control, and generally be a lot less clumsy.
So far as awful ways to die go, being attacked by a rabid animal then dying a slow, painful death must rank near the top. And exactly that happens to 55,000 people every year. Here's how you (or your dog) can get rabies, what it does to your body as it kills you and what you can do to ensure neither of you gets it.
Meet DALER. That's short for Deployable Air-Land Exploration Robot, and it's designed for rescuing victims in dangerous places after a natural disaster. How does a robot do that? Well, it requires flying into a dangerous place and then walks around that dangerous place. DALER does both.
Using sound to hunt for food is a pretty ingenious adaptation for bats flying at night. But it doesn't work if another bat is messing with you. Scientists have discovered that a species of bats can purposely jam the sonars of others to keep rivals away from their insect prey.
Bats are a crucial component of healthy ecosystems. They eats massive amounts of insect pests and, like bees, are important pollinators. White-nose syndrome, plus wind farms and habitat degradation, mean they're in trouble. Batman (and Lois Lane) have come to the rescue.
You probably can't tell, but there's quite a bit of bat chatter going on in the American night sky. We knew that bats use echolocation to find food, but researchers have recently realized that they also have a variety of social calls. At ScienceNews, Scicurious reports on new research that describes one function of…