PART 1 OF 3
For many years bats have been linked with witchcraft, darkness, and fear. Bats are so much more than this. Until recently, I had no idea how mind-blowing bats really are. I love showing how animals prove God’s existence, but out of all the animals I have researched, the bat is by far my new favorite. Let me explain why.
There are about 1200 known species of bats and three-fourths of these eat insects. Each bat will usually eat one-third of its body weight in insects every night, which is equivalent to hundreds of insects in a few hours. For example, the Little Brown Bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour. If bats became extinct, the insect population is calculated to reach an alarmingly high number (Sharon Shebar, Bats). In fact, there are about 30 million Mexican free-tailed bats in the Bracken Cave in Texas. These bats eat 250 tons of insects every night in the summer.
Not only do bats play a significant role in controlling the insect population, but they are also vital to the survival and pollination of many trees, plants, and flowers. In fact, several tropical plants are completely dependant on bats to distribute their seeds (bananas, peaches, bread-fruit, mangoes, cashews, almonds, dates, figs, etc). Obviously if bats did not exists, our world would be significantly different. Not only are bats important to our environment, but they are equipped with some awe-inspiring traits.
We will look at several other awesome characteristics of bats, but for the sake of time and your sanity, let’s just look at one other in this article.
The Bat’s Feet. As we all know, bats hang upside down. When we look closely at their feet, we will see that they work opposite from most feet. Most animals would have to flex their muscles and tendons to hang onto a tree limb or rock. The problem is, muscles and tendons become tired and fatigued and eventually give out. The bat has specialized tendons that clamp down on an object when it relaxes its muscles. Just like our hand opens when we relax, a bat’s feet close when it relaxes. In fact, a bat has to flex its muscles just to let go of a surface. It also has special toes that will lock into place to help hang upside down. This entire process is effortless for the bat. Beyond this, their circulatory systems are specially designed to hang upside down for very long periods of time without harming the brain or themselves in any way. Little Brown Bats can remain in this position for about 7 months while hibernating without any issues at all. They can also return to an upright position without getting dizzy or lightheaded.
Clearly the bat is incredible, but we have just scratched the surface. In the next article we will look into two other amazing traits of the bat. Psalm 104:24 states, “O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions.” What a true statement this is. God has filled this earth with His possessions, and it all is evidence of the powerful creator we love and serve. The bat is but one more amazing creature in His arsenal of proofs.