The Suitcase Lady

Pup

July 23, 2019, 9:49 pm

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A friend recently sent us a minute-long video she recorded. It depicts an amazing moment and begs to be shared. But first, here is a bit of background information to make it even more enjoyable…if that is possible.

Bats are marvelous creatures. The only true flying mammals (squirrels glide) they fly with their “hand wings”. The bones in their wings are elongated finger bones with small thumbs used for climbing. Thin, fragile skin membrane fills the space between the fingers. Anatomically, bat flight and bird flight are totally different mechanisms.

To understand how a bat flies, just mimic the arm motions of the butterfly breast swimming stroke. Bats row through the air. Strong muscles in their backs and chests enable them to create an up-stroke and powerful down-stroke.

A bat mom gives birth hanging upside down from her perch and catches her blind and furless pup in her wings. She has only one baby, but it’s a big one, about one-third of her weight. Mom cradles her pup in her tail pouch.

Like all mammal mothers, mom nurses her baby and it grows fast. Pups start learning to fly after 3 weeks. By 6 weeks they can catch insects by themselves and no longer need mom’s milk. By three months they are independent.

One huge danger lurks for mothers and pups. The bats in a majority of species cannot take flight from the ground. They must drop down 2 or 3 feet before they can fly. So a pup who falls to the ground from its roosting site is in serious trouble…mom can’t come to its rescue.

See how this pup solves its problem….thanks to its thumbs and a well-designed bat nesting site.

 

A bat pup has fallen out of its bat house on the side of our friend’s home. Our friend climbs the ladder to the pup catcher and describes what happens next.

Lots of squeaking from box above. One more look before I take her out of there… Before I can do that, watch what happens as the pup suddenly gathers herself up and…” (click here or on picture below)

 

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Dawn

    Phenomenal! Amazing what little ones can do to get back to their moms.
    Keep the great subject coming.

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