Dates: April 17, 2024

Time: 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM

2024 International Bat Apprecation Day

Price: $0.0

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Some Surprising Things About Bats That You Probably Don’t Know

Join us in celebrating bats on International Bat Appreciation Day by learning about bat. Tom Griffiths and Margaret Griffiths, both former professors at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington and Illinois Central College in East Peoria, are coming to talk about Some Surprising Things About Bats That You Probably Don’t Know.

In his nearly 53 years of studying bats, Tom Griffiths has been privileged to be part of a number of important scientific studies that have been critical in understanding the biology of these fascinating creatures.
-This talk begins with Tom’s participation as a college student in a bat-banding study conducted in Spring 1971 at a massive natural cave system in southern Vermont. Little Brown Bats were collected and banded in their winter roost (hibernaculum) and then collected months later in summer roosts located in houses, barns, and church steeples up to 150 miles away. This study provided the first information on the annual life cycle of bats, including information on migration, reproduction, and homing.
-From Vermont, the talk moves to Illinois. In May of 1988 similar field work conducted by Professor Griffiths and three Wesleyan students, under contract with the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR), resulted in surprising new information on bats of northern Illinois. The audience will learn of a semi-secret “biodiversity hot spot” where every one of the 10 species of bats known from northern Illinois has been unexpectedly found in large numbers.
-Moving to bat anatomy, we will briefly describe some findings by Griffiths and his students about how South American nectar-feeding bats stick their tongues out astonishingly far, and how Panamanian mustached bats produce echolocation pulses that are much louder than a jet plane at full throttle taking off (fortunately at sound frequencies well above our range of hearing, though your dog might hear them).
-Margaret will discuss what we know about White-Nose Syndrome, an imported fungal disease from Europe that sadly has killed bats by the millions across North America.
-We will conclude with some original research by Tom Griffiths and by other researchers on where bats fit on the Mammal evolutionary tree. Flying foxes will figure prominently in this story. Unless you look in advance of the talk, we promise that you will be flabbergasted to learn which mammal groups are most closely related to bats.

We will then happily answer whatever questions you’d care to ask.

Registration Required.
FREE with paid park admission. WPP Member receive park admission for FREE.

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