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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Wie fliegt eine Federmaus? (How does a bat fly?)

Gary McCrackenCollege of Arts and Sciences - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Powered flight evolved independently in three groups of vertebrates.  Unfortunately, the flying reptiles (Pterosaurs) are extinct.  Of the two living groups of flying vertebrates, birds are much better known than bats.  Birds are colorful, abundant, active in daytime, sing what we perceive of as pretty songs, and rank high in the popular perceptions of most people.  Bats, in contrast, inhabit the night, their songs are mostly beyond our hearing and, while they also are abundant, “bat watching” is not a common pastime. As a rule, bats do not share the “good press” enjoyed by birds.  So, what are bats doing up there?  How are they doing it? Why should we care?  This talk will address these questions with some of the latest information on the amazing and unique abilities of our flying mammals.

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