- Brainstorming with a friend, list at least five facts about bats.
- What animals are nocturnal?
- What is echolocation and how does it work?
- Ellen Covey says, “They’re performing calculations in their minds all the time in much the same way that we perform calculations about what it is that we see.” What does she mean?
- How does a bat’s call change when it’s zeroing in on a bug?
- Why did Moss and her coworkers design an experiment in which they hung a bug
from the ceiling? What were they trying to learn?
- How does a bat’s “looks” affect its flight?
- How did the presence of a plant near a targeted bug affect a bat’s ability to catch the bug?
- Compare echolocation to the way people see. In what ways are the two processes similar and different?
- Design your own experiment to study bats and echolocation. What variable might you change if you had a setup like that used by Moss and her coworkers?
- How does a dolphin’s use of echolocation differ from that of a bat? In what ways is it similar? See www.dolphintrainer.com/echolocation.htm (DolphinTrainer.com) or nv.essortment.com/whatisdolphins_rjms.htm (essortment.com).
- Bats eat mostly fruit and bugs. Would bats that feed on fruit need to use
echolocation? Why or why not? See www.npca.org/wildlife_protection/wildlife_facts/bats/echolocation.asp
(National Parks Conservation Association) or www.eparks.org/wildlife_protection/wildlife_facts/bats/echolocation.asp
- To study bats, why did the scientists need a high-speed infrared camera? How does such a camera work? What else might one be able to study with the camera?
See www.ircameras.com/viewpage.cfm?pageid=3 (ircameras.com).
- Are there any bats in the region where you live? What kinds of bats can be found in your neighborhood? See www.worldalmanacforkids.com/explore/animals/bat.html (World Almanac for Kids).
- Where in the world would you travel if you wanted to study vampire bats? See
(San Francisco State University).
- Where would you look to learn more about bats? Come up with three sources of
useful bat information.
- Find a story or novel that involves bats. Why do bats have a role in the story? Are the bats realistic animals or fantasy creatures? Could another animal replace the bat without changing the point of the story?
An active person’s heart beats about 150 times per minute. An active bat’s heart beats about 900 times per minute. When it hibernates, a bat’s heart rate drops to about 20 beats per minute. How many times does an active bat’s heart beat per second? How many times will a hibernating bat’s heart beat in 1 day?