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Bat Man

A bat expert explains why you don't have to be afraid of bats.

Rob Mies with a fruit bat (Courtesy of metroparent.com)  

WORDS TO KNOW

nocturnal:
active at night

predators:
animals that eat other animals

pollen:
powder-like grains that plants need to make new seeds grow

When Rob Mies isn’t studying bats, he’s rescuing them. He takes care of more than 150 injured and orphaned bats at a place he calls the Bat Zone. It’s located in Michigan. Mies spoke to Scholastic News about why people should be big fans of these nocturnal creatures.

Scholastic News: How did you get interested in bats?
Mies: I was about 9 years old when I saw them flying around a streetlight in my neighborhood. I was hooked!

SN: Should people be afraid of bats?
Mies: No! People have funny ideas about bats. They aren’t blind, won’t make a nest in your hair, and won’t suck your blood.

SN: Not even vampire bats?
Mies: Vampire bats do exist. But they won’t suck your blood unless you’re a cow in Central America or South America.

SN: What do bats feel like?
Mies: Their wings feel like your eyelids. Their fur is often soft and fluffy.

SN: What would life on Earth be like without bats?
Mies: VERY different! Bats are the main predators of insects. One bat can eat up to 3,000 insects each night. Some bats help plants grow. They spread seeds when they eat fruit. They also move pollen from plant to plant when they drink nectar from flowers.

SN: What should kids do if they ever find a bat?
Mies: Never pick it up! Bats will bite to protect themselves. If you find one on the ground that looks hurt, call an animal rescue center for help.

SN: If you could have any one of a bat’s amazing abilities, what would it be?
Mies: Hanging upside down without passing out!

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