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THE MENAGERIE AT THE PORCH
BATS

MYSTERY NIGHT FLYER

The rumor of tropical vampires, of course, was not good. Anyway, all bats many a long time treated with caution. So, just a hundred years ago a French naturalist. Toussenel spoke quite categorical: "universal irregularity and the enormity seen in the body of a bat, ugly anomalies in the device senses that allow ugly animal to hear the nose and see with ears - all this as if purposely prinarovie to ensure that the bat was a symbol of mental disorders and insanity". Unfortunately, in Russia the attitude toward bats was bad. Another thing - the countries of the East: they were loved and respected, considered a symbol of happiness.

Mysterious nocturnal, silent flight - here, perhaps, and everything about bat know a layman even in our enlightened age. However, ten years ago, popular science literature has been a wave of publications about the sonar of bats. But these articles and notes that little concrete talked about their way of life. Meanwhile, even the names of animals are often directly associated with echolocation: are, gladstonos, listeasy... Bizarre fleshy growths around the nostrils just need to focus the ultrasonic signals. Gluconase same bats, hunting, emit ultrasound mouth.

Still in textbooks and Zoological reports information about the night flyers the most common, mostly about form and structure. And in fact, except for polar regions and some oceanic Islands, bats occur everywhere and there where no foot may tread, and where millions of feet trample city sidewalks. So, in Moscow bats caught on not only in the outlying parks, but in secluded places a high-rise building of Moscow state University. Willingly they live in Rostov-on-don and our other cities, especially in Central Asia.

But in captivity they live only in one place.

On the banks of the Moscow river, among the birches and firs Zvenigorod biological station of Moscow state University, or rather, in her corner, where his wife Svetlana Petrovna Kamenev and Konstantin Konstantinovich Panyutin keep the bats on the wall of the tiny kitchenette hangs unusual order of the day and night. It clearly says that Breakfast is accounted for 23 hours, and lunch at five in the morning. Nothing can be done - bats are nocturnal animals, and researchers have fit way of life to the period of activity of their wards.

By the way, in India, in Hyderabad, there is a night zoo that you can visit during the day. Time deliberately confused in purpose-built cave, where conditions are very similar in the natural. Here live bats, anteaters and other animals, waking in the dark.

But let us return from distant India in Zvenigorod.

Panyutin jokes that only after ten years of observations of bats in captivity he realized how few knew about them. For example, the fact that once in the woods at night he was regarded only as a love song of a male, was still fighting, a warning cry. If the song did not help the adversary or bat other types all tried to climb into the hole, enraged singer biting intruders. But not fangs, and a weak front teeth, so as not to cause grievous bodily harm. To verify this simply: in the laboratory in artificial refuge, where is dealt lovingly-martial Aria, insert a finger. Animal, without regard for exactly who came to visit, immediately bite.

On biological station enclosure is made of nylon network of about 200 m3. Over valleroy reinforced UV lamp, which, like a magnet, attracts nocturnal insects. Under the lamp - funnel, where the fan sucks arrived butterflies, mosquitoes, and beetles and retransmits them under the network. Bats fly here from shelters, simulating a hollow, a cave and a loft. The rear wall shelters transparent and out in the dark room. Sitting here, you can, without disturbing the animals to see their hidden life.

In the aviary usually lives 20-25 individuals of several species. Of course, nocturnal insects, which are attracted to the trap, not enough to feed this company. And the flyers have to pay a visit to the trough, which covered the so-called meal worm (larvae of flour beetle).

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The menagerie at the porch

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