All but three land mammal species living on New Zealand today were brought there by modern humans, beginning around 800 years ago—and all three of those native mammal species are bats. But a newly discovered bat fossil suggests that there may be more species hiding in the isle’s ancient rock. Perhaps the mammal-poor…
New research shows that migrating bats have an uncanny ability to assess weather conditions such as wind speed, wind direction, and air pressure, abilities which could help them to choose the optimal time to set off on long journeys.
When pallid bats are stung by an Arizona bark scorpion, they shrug it off as if nothing even happened, which is odd considering this predatory arachnid is the most venomous scorpion in all of North America. New research explains how this unusual level of immunity is possible—a finding that could translate to an…
Nature isn’t always sunshine and kitties. This proved itself yet again recently, when researchers at the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro published a study on a pair of conjoined bat twins discovered in southeastern Brazil back in 2001. The animals were dead when they were discovered, which is almost…
The vast majority of infectious human diseases come from animals, yet we know surprisingly little about which animals pose the greatest risk. A new study helps resolve this shortcoming, ranking the mammals that are most likely to spread infectious diseases to humans.
Feeling drained? According to a new study, a vampire bat species that typically feeds on native birds has turned to sucking the blood of humans at night, likely due to human encroachment.
All hail the Brazilian free-tailed bat, which has just claimed a new flight speed record for all mammal-kind.
Researchers working in Africa are the first to observe monkeys preying on bats. The unusual behavior, which may have something to do with loss of habitat, could explain how dangerous diseases such as Ebola spread among species—and eventually to humans.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign think mimicking nature is the best way to help robots take flight. So with the help of a 3D printer they’ve created a flying robotic bat complete with a layer of fake silicone skin for the wing’s membranes. It somehow manages to make real bats look almost…
A devastating fungal disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America has now reached Washington State, prompting serious concern among wildlife officials.
Bats take the blame for spreading all kinds of diseases, from ebola to Middle Eastern Respiratory virus. So why don’t we find huge caches of dead bats? New research sheds light on how bats can carry diseases without dying from them.
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.