Zoology & Botany

bat

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy bat in advance, as well as a sample of grey fur

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a bat.) This is a mammal.

Remember, to be classified as a mammal, an animal should have hair or fur, mammary glands (mammal mothers nurse their young with milk), lungs and need air to breathe. Mammals that live on land are warm blooded, have 4 legs and ears that stick out. (Point to the bat) Say: Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera; They are the only mammals capable of true flight. The mouth of a bat is similar to the one of a rat or fox. They have large, pointed ears and grey or brown fur (Approach the grey fur and ask the baby to touch it). Bats have long arms and hands with especially long fingers. These are connected to the legs with membranes, which form their wings. The muscles in them make it easy for a bat to fly. When taking a rest a bat usually hangs upside down with its claws connected to a hard surface. Bats ‘see’ in the dark using a special skill called echolocation. They make noises and wait for the sound waves to bounce back off objects (an echo), if it doesn’t bounce back then they can safely fly forward.

Go back to the picture of the bat. Say: let’s find bat’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, nose, mouth, body, legs: 1,2,3,4; they form the bat´s wings! Do you know, baby that with extremely elongated fingers and a wing membrane stretched between, the bat’s wing anatomically resembles the human hand?? These mammals are nocturnal, meaning that they sleep during the day and are awake at night.

Bats are living things and need energy to survive.

Bats are omnivores since they consume both vegetables and other animals. The majority of their food includes insects, fruits and flower nectar and vertebrates. Almost three-fourths of the world's bats are insect eaters. Bats consume both aerial and ground-dwelling insects. They perform vital ecological roles of pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds; many tropical plant species depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds.

For their size, bats are the slowest reproducing mammals on Earth. Mating occurs in the late summer and early autumn, and the females store the males' sperm until the next spring. A pregnant female carries her young for a gestation period of 40 days to six months. Then, she gives birth to one baby. The pup drinks milk from the mother to survive, much like other mammals. The mothers and pups stay in groups; the other mothers help take care of the pup until it is old enough to care for itself.

Bats live all over the world, except for the Arctic and Antarctica. They mostly prefer warmer areas that are closer to the equator, and they can be found in rain forests, mountains, farmland, woods and cities. We need to take care of bats and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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