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🇬🇧 BATS by Diana Beascoechea V.

Actualizado: 31 may 2020

Flying almost blindly but unerringly through the night, bats appear to be supernatural creatures to us. Stepping into their world means entering darkness by night into the air, and by day into the earth itself, the deep and mysterious caves where they sleep away the daylight hours. Bats have long been featured as sinister figures and icons of horror in literature, cinema and local folklore, and we can't deny that they are to most of us deeply mysterious. But the truth is they are exceptionally diverse, fascinating and intelligent animals and super important on our planet. It is convenient to spread truthful information about the natural history of the different species, emphasizing the benefits they represent for nature and human activities.


In México there are 137 of the 925 species of bats in the world. Specifically in the Yucatan península we are going to find 43 different species, this represents the 42% of the total species in the country. The presence of such a large number of species is because among other things the weather and the diversity of vegetation present in the region, as well as the existence of many refuge sites such as cenotes and caverns.


In this refuges bats can form small groups or huge colonies form by thousand individuals. They rest during the day and they go out for food during the night. Most of the species eat fruits, seeds and insects. They are very important in nature, as they are seed dispersers, biological pest controllers and also responsible for the pollination of a lot of plants, some of economic importance such as maguey and mezcal!


Today, the survival of many species of bats is compromised by the rapid destruction of jungles and natural ecosystems. Avoiding the destruction of their habitat is critical to conserve these sites where these animals rest, mate and get protected from bad weather. The conservation of the jungles is also fundamental because the vegetation present here gives them food in form of pollen, fruits and diversity of invertebrate fauna for insectivorous bats.


Next time you visit a cenote or cave make sure you do it in silence as they use an echolocation system that resembles the operation of a radar: the bat emits a high-frequency sound and immediately receives the echo generated by the shock between the frequency wave and the object, producing a brain image of its surroundings. Screaming or laughing loudly really annoys them and affects their senses.


Remember every time you enter into a cave or cenote, do it with respect, feeling blessed and thankful to be in that special place, a place that used to be sacred for the mayans.








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