Welcome to our first weekly topics! I've decided to divide these into two sections. 'Some Batty Biology' will visit a certain species or a certain facet of bats, such as echolocation or such. 'Humans Gone Batty' will visit the meet between man and these fascinating critters, by either fictional interpretations of them, conservation efforts, or other such things.
Some Batty Biology - The Ghost Faced Bat
After a little interest arose from the picture of one yesterday, I decided to give these guys a visit. There isn't much, but this is what could be found on the Ghost-Faced Bat! It's a species of microbat, which most notably means they use echolocation - megabats do not.
The Ghost-Faced Bat is a species largely found in Central American countries, as well as Mexico and southern parts of the United States. Due to this preference for warmer climates, they generally do not migrate in the winter, nor do they hibernate. There is speculation that there may be exceptions to this.
The bizarre appearance of their face comes in part from an underdeveloped nose. More on that here.
Generally speaking, this seems to be an understudied species, as several sources indicate the things we know about their seasonal movements and reproductive habits - among other things - are dubious at best.
Humans Gone Batty - Here's Some Words to Squeal About
So, you may have noticed the changes to the names of subscribers and viewers in our sidebar. I'm gonna take this bit to explain what those mean, as well as introduce some other bat-related phrases and language tidbits.
Flittermouse is simply an old word for bat, with roots in Germanic languages. Similarly to this, a number of languages draw similarities between mice and bats in their word for the latter.
Bats in the belfry is an older and kinda out-of-use phrase that has "crazy person" connotations similar to the term 'batty'. There's a fair few idioms that combine bats with crazy.
Blind as a bat is a fun one. Though it typically gets used to say someone or something can't see well, it isn't largely accurate in its comparison: a good number of bats actually see well enough outside of echolocation, and an entire grouping of bats - megabats - don't use echolocation at all.
Batshit crazy seems to have arisen from some odd combination of 'bullshit' and bats getting looped into crazy connotations. I've heard an urban legend that it came from the effects of guano on people, but after some double-checking, I think we can safely say that people are too batshit crazy to put that much effort into a saying.
That's all until next weekend! Next weekend we'll be looking at some different topics, hopefully interesting ones! I have some in the planning, but if there's something you'd like to see about, feel free to mention! Also, if I've gotten something wrong, please let me know - I'm learning about them too. ;)