These are but a few of the myths about nature’s misunderstood mammals that will be dispelled when longtime Big Bear bat girl and Forest Service biologist Linda Stamer holds her popular pre-Halloween talk at Big Bear Discovery Center on Friday, October 28. The free Nature Night program “What’s Your Bat-itude?” is fun for the whole family with real bat specimens and slide show about these fascinating creatures of the night. Kids are encouraged to dress in Halloween costumes and there’s bat cookies they get to decorate.
Learn the truth about these remarkable and beneficial creatures of the night, like…
*Bats can consume up to twice their body weight in one night in mosquitoes, scarfing down some 1,200 per hour. So if you hate the true bloodsuckers of the forest, then you should be bats about bats.
*While all mammals can contract rabies, the less than half of one percent of bats that do get the disease normally bite only in self-defense and pose little threat to people who don’t handle them.
*Seed production of agave plants, from which tequila is produced, drops to 1/3,000th of normal without bat pollinators. Imagine how expensive margaritas would be without bats!
*Vampire bat saliva features an anticoagulant that may soon be used to treat human heart patients.
There are about 45 bat species in the United States and at least 20 are found in this forest, which has so many different types of habitats, from the desert side’s chaparral to pine forest canopy, meadows and the lake. One species Big Bear doesn’t have is the infamous vampire bat, found primarily in South American though it has been known to occasionally migrate as far north as Mexico.
Free Nature Walks around Discovery Center’s forested grounds are also ongoing Saturdays at 1 and 2 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. Join a naturalist for 30-minute adventures perfect for the entire family in search of forest flora and fauna.
Call Big Bear Discovery Center (909) 866-3437.