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Types of Bats
Bats are one of the most numerous mammals in the world with 950 species and the only mammal that has powered flight. Even with such large numbers, bats are still often misunderstood. People often think that bats are similar to mice, but they really have more in common with primates (that's us) than with any other species. In Canada there are twenty-one different species of bats, five of which are found in Regina. These include the big and little brown bats, the silver-haired bat, the hoary bat, and the red bat.

Hunting and Food
All bats found in Canada are insectivores. This means they feed mainly on flying insects. Little brown bats can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes in one hour by seizing them in their mouths or scooping them up in their wings and tail. Little brown bats, like many other bats, use echolocation to detect their flying prey. Bats echolocate by emitting a high-frequency sound through their mouth and/or nose. The sound waves bounce off objects and back to the bat's sensitive ears. They can detect an object as fine as a human hair in complete darkness.

Bat Habitats
Bats are found in a variety of different habitats throughout the world. Bat caves are unique ecosystems which support a large variety of life including plants, insects and bacteria. Many bats have even adapted well to the presence of humans by taking over abandoned buildings and attics.

In fall, Saskatchewan's bats face a major food crisis as insect numbers start to diminish. This crisis gets worse as the temperature starts to drop and more energy is needed. Our bats have adapted to this stress by hibernating in trees and buildings, or migrating to places in order to hibernate. Most bats will stay in hibernation for 6 months or more.

Bats and Their Young
Most bats in Canada and the United States mate in the fall shortly before entering hibernation. In the spring the pregnant females move to warm roosts forming nursery colonies where they will give birth. Bats are the slowest reproducing mammal for their size usually giving birth to only one pup per year.


Curriculum Connections
Grade 1 Science
LT1.1 Differentiate between living things according to observable characteristics, including appearance and behaviour H,I,J,L

LT1.2 Analyze different ways in which plants, animals, and humans interact with various natural and constructed environments to meet their basic needs A,C,E,F,G,H,I,J,
  Science DS1.2 Inquire into the ways in which plants, animals, and humans adapt to daily and seasonal changes by changing their appearance, behaviour, and/or location A,C,D,F
Grade 2 Science AN2.1 Analyze the growth and development of familiar animals, including birds, fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, during their life cycles B,C,E,F,G
  Science AN2.3 Assess the interdependence of humans and animals in natural and constructed environments A,D,E,F,G
Grade 4 Science HC4.1 Investigate the interdependence of plants and animals, including humans, within habitats and communities A,C,F
  Science HC4.2 Analyze the structures and behaviours of plants and animals that enable them to exist in various habitats B,C,G
  Science HC4.3 Assess the effects of natural and human activities on habitats and communities, and propose actions to maintain or restore habitats E,J
Grade 6 Science DL6.1 Recognize, describe, and appreciate the diversity of living things in local and other ecosystems, and explore related careers B,D
  Science DL6.3 Analyze the characteristics and behaviours of vertebrates (i.e., mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) and invertebrates B,E
  Science DL6.4 Examine and describe structures and behaviours that help:

  • individual living organisms survive in their environments in the short term
  • species of living organisms adapt to their environments in the long term
Grade 7 Science IE7.2 Observe, illustrate, and analyze living organisms within local ecosystems as part of interconnected food webs, populations, and communities I,J,L
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