Common Misconceptions About Bats

Common Misconceptions About Bats

I'm just winging it.
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One of my favorite animals is the Fruit Bat. They can reach a wingspan of 5-6 feet long. Why do I like Fruit Bats? Because they do so much for the rain forests and the environment. They deserve to have someone on their side. But bats have had a very negative connotation that makes them seem like ugly, mean creatures. Horror movies have painted them in a bad light. Heck, even non-horror movies have done that same thing. Recall "Jumanji" (1996) and one of the first scenes where the bats engulfed the two children? Or "Eragon" (2006) the final battle scene, where the bad guy is fighting on a giant bat? There are many others. So, I am writing to give a little clarity to the bat world. I am debunking a few of the most common myths about bats.

1. All bats drink blood.

That is not true. Only three species out of an estimated 1,000 feed solely on blood. The three types of bats are the common vampire bats, the hairy-legged vampire bat and the white-winged bat. All three species live south of the United States ranging from Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

2. Bats will drink you dry.

As it’s stated above, only three species drink blood. What they do is create a very small “v” shaped cut and lap up what comes out of it. They often drink from cattle, deer, etc. It is actually their saliva that helps the cut to bleed by working as a blood-thinning agent. That same saliva is being used in research to help clear human blood clots.

3. Bats eat only mosquitoes.

Although bats do eat mosquitoes, they eat all sorts of bugs, moths, ladybugs, aphids, etc. Bats can eat up to 600-1,000 bugs a night, which saves millions for crops. Other bats survive on only fruits such mangoes, papayas or anything found in the rain forests. Fruit bats, in particular, help with 70 percent of the fruit regrowth in rain forests. Some other bats will also eat scorpions, frogs and fish. Lastly, other types of bats will eat nectar and pollen from plants.

4. Bats are blind.

That’s not true. Although bats can’t see colors, they can actually see relativity well. Almost as well as humans can see. At night, it’s their ears that guide them through the darkness using echolocation. Echolocation is exactly what it sounds like, a sonar system using echoes to help locate things.

5. All bats have rabies.

This is one of the most common misconceptions out there. It is less than one percent of all bats that carry rabies. Keep in mind the number of bats was never recorded before 2007 because of their vast quantities.

6. There is a plethora of bats.

Since 2007, there has been a disease that is slaughtering millions of bats. This disease is known as White Nose Syndrome (WNS). It kills bats while they are hibernating. The disease eats at the bats soft wing membranes and nose. The disease causes the bat to wake during its hibernation, and it causes the bat to use up its sorted fat, which they need during their deep winter sleep. They can starve to death, get disoriented and get caught outside in the snow, or simply fall prey to dehydration.

WNS has killed an estimated 5.7 million-6.7 million bats in both United States and Canada. The disease has reached 16 states and four Providences in Canada since that single cave in New York.

Bats have done so much good for our world and only receive negative remarks. It’s time to realize that bats are our knights with wings, and they need our support and help. If you’d like to learn more I’ve posted some links below.

(Photo I created for one of my classes)

White-Noise Syndrome: A coordinated response to the devastating bat disease

Bat Conservation Trust

Live Science: Facts about Bats

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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