According to Webster’s
1: of, relating to, or resembling a bat
2: mentally unstable : crazy
As in common lore the owl represents wisdom and the ass ignorance in folklore, so the bat is identified with lunacy. Living in caves and emerging at twilight in great swarms, obscuring the moon, they have been considered creatures of the underworld from times immemorial. They change direction so rapidly in flight that to us they seem to be in two places at once; the apparent randomness of their flight patterns evokes deep within us the primal dread of chaos.
Perhaps bats would be less misunderstood, if we could also see the bugs they pounce upon in mid-air and devour by the ton. Keeping the numbers of pesky insects down is just one way in which bats are beneficial to us humans. Next to bees, they are the primary pollinators in our region. If not for bats, there would be no agave, for instance. And if there would be no agave, there would be no…
To find out what we would be missing, and much more, the Weekly Green interviewed Sergio Avila, Conservation Scientist at the Desert Museum.
The Desert Museum is providing a great opportunity to get to know bats better: the next event in their Cool Summer Nights series will be Bat Night on Saturday, June 27.