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K4564 - Ecology Bats Creatures of the Night

Ecology Bats Creatures of the Night
Item No. K4564

Ecology Bats Creatures of the Night

Series: Show Me Science Advanced Ecology
Item No: K4564
Length: 17 minutes
UPC: 709629045644
Copyright: 2011
CC: Yes
MARC Record: Yes
Language: English
Grade Level: 6-12
Age Range: 12-18
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SRP: $44.95
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The Mexican free-tailed bat is one of the most abundant mammals in North America. Outside of San Antonio, Texas there is a cave that is home to over 40 million of these bats. Roosting in large numbers in relatively few areas makes them especially vulnerable to human disturbance and habitat destruction. Documented declines at some roosts are cause for concern because there is a delicate balance in the ecosystem that depends on the bats. There is also cause for concern among other bat species that are falling victim to white nose syndrome, which is a condition named for a distinctive fungal growth around the muzzles and on the wings of affected animals. It is a cold-loving fungus that grows at temperatures below 20 C (68 F). It grows on bats when they are hibernating in winter. The fungus appears to disrupt the normal patterns of hibernation, causing bats to arouse too frequently from torpor and starve to death. This program goes deep into the caves where the Mexican free-tailed bats roost and shows a glimpse into their behavior, reproductive habits, diet and how they utilize echolocation.


Gr 6 Up-Through the use of excellent videography, this wonderful program captures the behavior, reproduction, feeding, and echolocation of bats. While narrator, Jake Williams introduces viewers to several species of bats, the primary focus is on the largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats (40 million+) which inhabits the Bracken Cave hidden on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas. No longer opened to the public, Bat Conservation International maintains the cave for observation and research of the colony. Emphasis is placed on the explanation of echolocation, the sonar system used by bats to emit sounds that reflect off of objects returning the echo to bat ears. Bats use this system to aid them in navigation and foraging. An outstanding job is done in presenting interesting facts and statistics which will grab the attention of the audience. Close-range shots of several species provide a unique insight into the aerial agility, size, appearance, anatomy, and differences among bats. White nose syndrome is discussed as a recognized disease that is threatening and endangering some species of bats. Interviews with biologists who are currently conducting research on the disease are included. Science teachers searching for supplemental materials to introduce nocturnal and particularly interesting smaller mammals and their relationships to our environment and ecology will find this presentation a useful resource. All viewers will be drawn in by the rare and amazing footage of this enchanting nature documentary. -Linda M. Teel, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC / School Library Journal, May 2012