Bats and Biology
Instructor: Dr. Jerry Wilkinson, Department of Biology
In this two-day seminar I will introduce the class to the biology of bats in general, and in particular to learn which species of bats occur in the Chesapeake Bay region. With over 1,000 species, bats represent the second most diverse order of mammals on the planet. Perhaps because most of these species fly at night and live in tropical regions, they are less well known than other groups of mammals. This seminar will explore how bats have been used to understand a variety of biological processes with particular relevance to humans, such as aging, echolocation, energetics, epidemiology, evolution, cooperation, and reproduction, and will discuss recent cases where bats have been in the news, such as white-nose syndrome, bats and wind turbines, and bat-transmitted rabies. Some of the seminar time will be spent discussing laboratory-type exercises that could be used in secondary school classrooms. An optional field trip will be taken after the first day to make ultrasonic recordings of bats hunting for insects. Participants will have the opportunity to use specialized, but easily available, software to analyze the bat echolocation vocalizations and learn how they can be used to help identify different species.
Tuttle, M.D. 2005 America's Neighborhood Bats: Understanding and Learning to Live in Harmony with Them. Second Edition. University of Texas Press, Austin.
For April 16
|Evolution, diversity & distribution of bats||PPT|
|Energetics, hibernation & migration (white-nose and turbines)||PPT|
|Public health & conservation (rabies)||PPT|
|Life history & longevity (aging)||PPT|
For April 30
|Echolocation and hearing||PPT|
|Reproduction and mating||PPT|
Useful web sites
Sample bat recordings (expanded 10x in time)