Bats

  • Science
    A team of researchers led by the University of Helsinki has used new miniaturized GPS tags to keep tabs on desert bats as they fly about in Kenya.
  • ​According to a US Geological Survey estimate, anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of bats are killed by wind turbines annually – in the US alone. New technology may help reduce those numbers, however, by causing the turbine blades to whistle at the animals.
  • Science
    Like the Wright Brothers, evolution didn’t get flight exactly right the first time. It takes experimentation to find the best design, and now palaeontologists have found one of nature’s quirky side projects – a strange dinosaur that was covered in feathers but had leathery bat-like wings.
  • ​Caused by a fungus known as Pseudogymnoascus destructans, white-nose syndrome is currently killing bats across North America at an alarming rate. There may be hope, however, as a potential vaccine has recently been shown to be effective at warding off the disease.
  • Science
    ​New research has described a novel peptide found in the venom of vampire bats could pave the way for an entirely new class of blood-pressure “wonder drugs”. However, the study is being stifled by drug cartels taking over the research site in Mexico.​
  • Science
    A new genus of filovirus has been detected in bats in Southern China. The new virus is evolutionarily similar to the notorious Ebola and Marburg viruses, and while there is no current threat of a human outbreak, the researchers suspect it is capable of interspecies transmission.
  • Although wind turbines may be a valuable source of eco-friendly energy, they do have at least one drawback – bats are frequently killed by their spinning blades. A promising new system is designed to help keep that from happening, however, by producing an ultrasonic acoustic field.
  • A year ago, Philips Lighting (now called Signify) announced results of a study which showed that its ClearField red LED lighting didn't disrupt the behaviour of bats – unlike traditional streetlights. Now, the Dutch town of Zuidhoek-Nieuwkoop has become the first place to use the system.
  • Science
    Ordinarily, if you want to see what's going on in a bat's brain, you have to hold the animal immobile and wire it up – not the best setup for studying how it reacts while moving in the real world. Now, however, scientists have devised a method of recording the brain activity of free-flying bats.
  • Science
    White-nose syndrome is a disease that infects bats as they hibernate, and it's been reducing their numbers in recent years. There may be new hope, however, as scientists have discovered that the fungus behind the disease is killed by exposure to UV light.
  • ​When you're studying wildlife, it's important to have a way of differentiating between individual animals. With that in mind, scientists have discovered that bats can be told apart via their unique "wing prints."
  • ​Bats are cool creatures, but they're not always the easiest things to see. If you've got the right equipment, however, you can detect their ultrasonic echolocation calls. Well, the Echo Meter Touch 2 is claimed to be the "right equipment" … and it works with your iPhone.