Tuesday, April 13, 2021

All About Bats With Conservationist Phillip Elden

Phillip Elden

Everybody loves Batman, but few people have a special place in their hearts for the flying mammal that inspired the superhero’s dark persona. But, Phillip Elden says that bats are pretty fantastic, and notes that there are many reasons to be happy you see these nocturnal creatures flying through the air. 
First and foremost, Phillip Elden notes that bats actually are more closely related to humans than mice, which is the common belief. They are the second largest group of mammals on Earth at more than 1300 species strong. Unexpectedly, of these, only three actually survive off of blood. The rest tend to dine on insects and fruit. 
As the only mammal that can actually fly – flying squirrels can only glide – bats are unique. However, this is not their only unusual feature, says Phillip Elden. Bats use a process called echolocation to determine proximity of objects around them. This keeps them from flying into buildings, trees, and other animals. Through echolocation, bats emit an ultrasonic frequency that reverberates off of everything, giving them a “visual” of their surroundings. 
If you’ve ever seen a bat in your backyard, you may have been somewhat alarmed. Phillip Elden says you should not be. Bats are actually one of our greatest allies in our fight against insects and, to some degree, food scarcity. Scientists estimate that bats may save up to $54 billion each year in lost food and pest control. This is because they eat bugs that attack coffee, cotton, almonds, cucumbers, tomatoes, and many other important food sources. 
Ultimately, bats are good for the environment. Phillip Elden says there is no reason to fear these flying rodents. They mean no harm, and every activity they do benefits us in some way.