Spiral Notebook
Bust Some Bat Myths This Halloween!
by Mary Kay Carson
October 28, 2013
Bust Some Bat Myths This Halloween!

Halloween is a terrific opportunity to separate fact from fiction as far as bats are concerned. So I’m jumping on the bandwagon with Bat Conservation International (BCI) to bust some myths about the only flying mammals—bats! BCI is a fantastic group full of hard-working conservationists, wildlife biologists, and cave experts helping save bats around the world and educate the public about these amazing nocturnal winged animals. You can visit their Kidz Cave webpage to download entertaining and fact-filled puzzles, masks, and other batty fun.

We featured the work of a number of BCI folks in our book, The Bat Scientists, which is newly updated and recently released in paperback. The book includes a list of commonly misunderstood facts about bats that have become a big part of the Batty Science presentations I give at schools and other venues.

The Six Batty Myths are:

Bats are NOT blind. All bats have eyes and can see quite well.

Most bats do NOT have rabies. Like any wild animal, bats should not be touched, especially one found on the ground that is more likely to be sick. However, getting rabies from bats is very rare.

Bats do NOT get tangled in people’s hair. Bats are too good at flying for that, plus they generally avoid humans.

Bats do NOT suck blood. Not even the three species of vampire bats that live in Central and South America suck blood. They lap it up with their tiny tongues. No vampire bats live in the United States, except in zoos.

Bats are NOT flying mice. DNA evidence shows that bats are not closely related to rodents. Some scientists believe they are more like primitive primates.

Bats are NOT pests in need of extermination. Bats can be safely removed from an attic or home without harming them. Bats are important pest controllers, often eating their own weight in pest insects every night.

Torn Paper

Recent Notes:
Follow Along As We Storm Chase In Tornado Alley
Is It Tornado Season Where You Live?
Ultima Journey Update
Fall 2018 Osprey Update!
All Hands on Deck to Support the Southern Residents
Ospreys in Missoula: Spring 2018 Update
SLJ Interview Gives Readers a Behind the Scenes Look
Crows Aren’t the Only Smart Birds in Town
Big News for Scientist in the Field Scott Dowd

HMH logoPrivacy Policy | Trademarks | Terms of Use
Copyright Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.