It’s Okay To Be Smart Explores the Amazing World of Bats and Debunks the Myths That Surround Them

In the latest episode of the web series It’s Okay To Be Smart (see previous), Dr. Joe Hanson explores the amazing world of bats, including the natural phenomenon of Bracken Cave in Comal County, Texas that serves as a summer breeding home for millions of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats.

For the past 10,000 summers or so, these bats have come up here for the summer in what’s known as a maternity colony. And they get hungry. Every night around sunset, they head out to eat, and it’s an unforgettable sight. Different species eat pretty much every kind of food there is, but the bats that live here are insectivores. A single Mexican free-tailed bat only weighs about as much as two quarters, but all in all, this population will eat more than a hundred tons of insects in a single night. By doing so, they save farmers billions of dollars every year in lost crops and pesticides that they don’t have to use.

Joe also debunks certain myths that surround the creatures including the old cliché of being “blind as a bat“.

You know the old saying “blind as a bat”? Well, bats are anything but blind. As they pour out of that cave by the millions, they depend on their eyesight to keep from crashing into each other.

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips