How to Fly Like a Bat Additional Information

Recommended Web sites:

Find Sharon Swartz’s Web site at University).

Learn more about her bat-visualization project at, and watch related videos at (Brown University).

Read another article about the mechanics of bat flight at (American Museum of Natural History).

Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:

[book] Animal Aviators: Masters of Flight– Eve Iversen

Published by Franklin Watts/Scholastic, 2001

Learn how animals that glide, soar, and fly have fascinated humans for centuries. Examine principles of how these creatures take off, stay in the air, maneuver, and land. Humans have studied birds, bats, and insects so that we can learn to fly, too. Observe how we have developed principles that were tested over and over again before human flight vehicles became a reality. See how Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings and the suggestions of other dreamers have become reality for modern-day inventors and scientists. A glossary, science projects, selected bibliography, and information for additional research are included.

[book] Animals in Flight– Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Published by Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001

Imagine being able to fly! Soaring, swooping, diving and hovering! So many animals are able to do what humans can only dream about. Insects, dinosaurs, birds and even mammals are featured in this picture book of animals that fly. Find out who the first flyers were? (Hint: They weren’t pterodactyls!) Which flyers are faking it? Can squirrels really fly? Steve Jenkins and Robin Page fill the pages of this book with vivid pictures and fun facts about the flyers of the animal kingdom.

[book] How Bats “See” in the Dark– Malcolm Penny

Published by Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish, 1997

Although bats aren’t blind, they do depend much more on their sense of hearing than on their vision. Learn how bats use echolocation to hunt and move about. Discover other animals that use echolocation, and find out about human uses of this skill.

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Power Words

airplane A vehicle that can rise off the ground and fly because of the force of air flowing around its wings. Airplanes move forward because of the power of jet engines or of engines that spin a propeller.

bat A small mammal with a body like a mouse and thin, leathery wings. Most bats eat insects or fruit. Bats are active at night and are the only mammals that can fly.

echolocation A system in some animals, such as bats and dolphins, for locating objects using sound waves. The high-pitched sounds made by these animals echo as they bounce off objects. Animals use echolocation to avoid dangers or to hone in on a target.

mechanics The scientific study of the motion of objects and of how objects react to forces. Mechanics is a branch of physics.

wind tunnel A room or structure that is equipped with a large fan that blows air at set speeds. Scientists use wind tunnels to study the effect of air on a moving object, such as an aircraft.

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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