bats

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Flying Fox Invasion Drives Town Batty

'The smell is so bad ... we can actually taste it'

(Newser) - Batemans Bay, Australia, is a picturesque coastal town that always leaves the welcome mat out for tourists. But tens of thousands of visitors of another kind have more than outstayed their welcome—large bats. Residents feel trapped in their guano-coated houses, and those who venture outside soon feel a disgusting... More »

Florida Regulator Booted From Office by Bat Guano

Ten pounds of feces was found in his office ceiling

(Newser) - One of Florida's top regulators is being ordered to stay away from his office because of 10 pounds of bat guano discovered above his desk Thursday, the AP reports. Inspectors say they found the bat feces in the area above the ceiling in Ken Lawson's office. Lawson is... More »

Bats Are Like Humans in One Remarkable Way

Both species listen with both hemispheres of their brains

(Newser) - Humans were thought to be unique as a species in that we use both halves of our brains to "distinguish different aspects of sound," as Georgetown neuroscientist Stuart Washington puts it. Turns out we're not as special as we thought. A type of bat also displays this... More »

Origin of Ebola Outbreak: Tiny Guinea Bat?

Team says bats hunted by kids likely started this outbreak

(Newser) - The current Ebola epidemic—which now totals upward of 20,000 cases and more than 7,700 deaths—has already been traced to the tiny village of Meliandou in southern Guinea, where the person thought to be patient zero, 2-year-old Emile Ouamouno, died with Ebola-like symptoms in late 2013. Fruit... More »

In Bat Battles, Rivals Jam Each Other's Sonar

Study identifies technique for first time in Mexican free-tailed bats

(Newser) - Bats don't mess around when it comes to food fights—they can prevent rivals from snagging prey by emitting a noise that essentially jams the other bat's sonar. One researcher discovered the tactic for the first time among the Mexican free-tailed bat, which, like all bats, uses "... More »

Bats' Lethal Error: Mistaking Turbines for Trees

Scientists say they may be confused by wind patterns

(Newser) - Scientists trying to figure why tens of thousands of bats are killed by wind turbines each year think they've figured out a key piece of the puzzle: The bats think the turbines are trees, reports Nature World News . Using thermal and infra-red surveillance cameras, researchers discovered that the bats... More »

Scientists Find Bat Feared Extinct

Female from species not seen in more than a century is found (and killed)

(Newser) - Researchers studying bats in Papua New Guinea came across a long-lost friend in their nets: a female identified as a New Guinea big-eared bat, reports Scientific American . It's noteworthy because no specimen has been seen in 124 years, and the species was feared to be extinct. Now that a... More »

To Thwart Ebola, Guinea Bans Bat-Eating

Local delicacy blamed for Guinea outbreak

(Newser) - Bats are now off the menu in Guinea, where an outbreak of Ebola is now believed to have killed at least 62 people. Bats are a delicacy in the West African nation, where they tend to be made into a peppery soup served in village stores that sell alcohol, the... More »

Genetically, Dolphins Are Like ... Bats?

They have nearly 200 genomic regions in common

(Newser) - One is an adorable marine mammal. The other is a creepy flying rodent that inspires masked vigilantes. But it turns out that, deep down, dolphins and bats have a surprising amount in common. A new study has found that dolphin and bat genes are strikingly similar in nearly 200 genomic... More »

SARS-Like Virus Traced to Egyptian Tomb Bat

Feces pellet provides perfect match for mystery virus

(Newser) - Researchers scrambling to find the source of the deadly MERS virus have pinpointed an animal culprit—but they're still not sure how it has been passed to humans. An exact match for the virus that has sickened 96 people in the Middle East, killing almost half of them, was... More »

Male Bats Seen Giving Oral Sex to Females

Longer cunnilingus may increase chance of conception: scientists

(Newser) - Bats in India have a good thing going on: Scientists analyzing a colony of about 420 fruit-eating bats there observed males performing cunnilingus on females, LiveScience reports. Over more than 13 months, researchers saw 57 cases of sex, both intercourse and oral. Males gave oral sex for an average of... More »

Bat-Killing Fungus Hits Famed US Park

Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park latest white-nose syndrome victim

(Newser) - The fungus that has already killed 6 million bats in the eastern US and Canada has been found in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park for the first time, reports the Los Angeles Times . A bat with white-nose syndrome was discovered in Long Cave, a 1.3-mile-long cave not linked... More »

Dead Bats Could Provide AIDS Clue

Study finds similar immune system response

(Newser) - One positive development may come out of the study of white nose syndrome , the devastating disease killing off swaths of bats: insight into AIDS. Researchers studying bats who survived white nose, only to die anyway, eventually realized the bats' own aggressive immune response was to blame. After fighting off the... More »

White-Nose Disease Could Kill Off Gray Bats

And that's bad news for economy, environment

(Newser) - Another species of bat is suffering from white-nose syndrome —and the fungus threatens the animal's extinction within just two years. Unlike other species suffering from the disease, gray bats live in caves throughout the year, and the disease "could spread exponentially through the cave," a Missouri... More »

US Bat Disease May Be From European Tourists

Cave explorers could have tracked it on their shoes: Scientists

(Newser) - A disease that has decimated North American bat populations probably made its way here from Europe, researchers say. European bats haven't suffered the disease's disastrous effects, but some appear to be infected; they've probably developed resistance to the germs, scientists tell AFP . Experts exposed unaffected Canadian bats... More »

Deadly Bat Fungus Moves West of Mississippi

Number of bat deaths now tops 7M, say scientists

(Newser) - The bat-killing fungus that causes white-nose syndrome is continuing its relentless spread—the fungus was spotted west of the Mississippi River in Missouri for the first time ever last week, reports Scientific American . White-nose syndrome has now been spotted in 19 states and four Canadian provinces, and has now killed... More »

Bats May Go Way of Passenger Pigeon

New numbers on fungus show up to 7M dead in 5 years

(Newser) - The Fish and Wildlife Service has new numbers out on the white-nose fungus wiping out bats in the US and Canada, and they put the creature's very survival at risk. Up to 6.7 million have been killed since the fungus first emerged in 2006, reports the Washington Post... More »

Amid Mass Die-Offs, Pockets of Brown Bats Survive

Bats appear to be resistant to devastating white nose syndrome

(Newser) - White nose syndrome has killed millions of bats over the past five years, decimating the little brown bat population by more than 90% in some areas, but scientists have found reason to hope: In Vermont and Pennsylvania, there are surviving colonies of the threatened species. “I’m cautiously... More »

Scientists Identify Fungus That Has Killed 1M Bats

Geomyces destructans has wipe out over 90% of some bat species

(Newser) - Five years after a bat-killing plague was discovered in the eastern United States, and three years after a fungus was linked to that plague , scientists have finally identified the pathogen and confirmed it is indeed responsible for the deaths, reports Reuters . The deadly white fungus Geomyces destructans is responsible for... More »

Bat on Plane Forces Emergency Return

Stowaway causes flap on Delta flight

(Newser) - A Delta pilot decided enough was enough and returned to the departure airport after a bat caused havoc in the cabin of a Madison-Atlanta flight. The stowaway swooped through the cabin as passengers ducked and screamed, according to a passenger who posted footage to CNN's iReport. A quick-thinking passenger... More »

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