Help: Bat detector

B.L.Cohen gbga13 at
Tue Aug 30 12:14:08 EST 1994

> >
> >In any case, I hope you blow those little #@%$%#$s out of the sky!
> Now hold on there. Although many people are afraid of them, science has
> revealed that bats are nothing more than vicious rodents that fly in the
> dark and bite you and give you rabies. Another common misconception is
> that bats are blind, which could not be further from the truth--it's just
> a rumor they started so that people will feel sorry for them. 
> If you have a problem with bats, your best bet is to hook up a jumbo
> bug zapper, which they'll be attracted to even though they are members of
> the arachnid family.

Yes, I was hoping someone would reply without too much flame to the
correspondent who seems to have a "thing" about bats.   I could not trust
myself to keep the temperature down.   No contributor to bionet can really
justify antipathy towards any form of living organism.   We owe it to our
"intelligence" and unique ability to degrade the biosphere to be protective
of all creatures, animal, plant, bacterium, etc.   

Bats are extremely interesting and their populations are very vulnerable to
human interference because of the extent to which they pack into
hibernation and breeding roosts.   Exterminate the inhabitants of one roost
and you may wipe out a large portion of the population of a wide area.  
Our cottage roof, near Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, holds one of the
northernmost known roosts of the Whiskered Bat in the UK.   The 140
individuals roosting there this summer (young + adults) probably account
for 50% of this species in southwestern Scotland.

Moreover, molecular systematics based on DNA sequences shows that bats are
considerably closer to Primates than to Rodents.   Despite "Die
Fledermaus", bats are NOT rodents.

A bit detector is a frewquency-shifter that brings their ultrasonic calls
into audible range.   It can be used to identify species on the wing. 
Dr Bernard L. Cohen          Phone (+44) (0)41 339 8855 ext. 5103/5101
Genetics Dept.,              Fax               330 5994
University of Glasgow
Church St.,
Glasgow G11 5JS
Scotland, UK.

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