Well, the answer should be obvious, right? Any animal that is associated so heavily with the spooky scary holiday of Halloween must deserve that reputation. And besides, there’s such a thing as vampire bats, that alone is scary! Bats are terrifying!
Truthfully, though, bats are incredibly not scary. They’re actually kind of cute, and very, very necessary to the betterment of our summers! Uh, not summer, system! Well, both. See, one bat can eat 1200 mosquitoes in one hour. So, see? Bats are not only a major part of the ecosystem’s survival, but they also help ensure that our summer nights aren’t filled with swatting and swearing. Next time you see a bat flying over your nighttime pool party make sure you say thanks!
What about vampire bats, you might ask? Well, admittedly there are a few species of bats that subsist on the blood of their prey, but there are only three species of vampire bat that eat blood alone, and there are over 1200 species of bat in total. By far most bats eat insects, like the friend I was referring to above, or they eat fruit. Lots and lots of fruit.
Unfortunately we humans have a problem with destroying the habitat of wildlife, and it’s no different with these cute and rather cuddly bats; many bat species are threatened due to the loss of their habitats. More than half of the bat species in the United States alone are starting to die out. Some are dying from illness, some from habitat loss. In an unusual success, however, some sick bats have successfully been released back into the wild following their illness.
So why do these bats have such a struggle? Well, for one, bats usually only have one baby a year. It’s surprising to most people because bats are often imagined to be rodents, and rodents reproduce a lot, right? But bats aren’t rodents, and unfortunately for them that means they’re far more prone to extinction than any rodent species is. The loss of one bat is a blow to the whole colony, and to our ecosystems as well.
But we’re starting to get away from the point, aren’t we? Are bats scary? How about I show you a bat and you tell me if it’s scary:
So small! So fierce!
Pretty terrifying, right? The fact of the matter is that bats are harmless to humans. Even the vampire bats usually only feed on livestock, it’s too difficult to feed on humans. The scariest possibility than a bat might hold is vampire bats can get rabies, which is pretty serious, but so can many other wild animals. The truth is that if you see a wild animal you should always give it space, no matter how cute it is or how harmless it seems. Never pick up or tease a wild animal, especially if it’s acting strange or unafraid of humans. It’s that simple.
Hey! For once we had an easy, simple answer to our weekly question. Weird.