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Love em or hate em, bats are really important critters.   Follow me below the orange squiggle to find out how important.

Itzl AlertingAs you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here.  We care!
We have split up the publishing duties, but we welcome everyone in IAN to do daily diaries for the group!  Every member is an editor, so anyone can take a turn when they have something to say, photos and music to share, a cause to promote or news!  If you would like to write a diary, let us know in a comment.

Bats are very clean animals and groom themselves constantly when not eating or flying.

The world's smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat of Thailand, weighing less than a penny.

Giant flying foxes of Indonesia have wingspans of nearly 6 feet.

The common little brown bat of North America is the world's longest lived mammal for it's size, with life spans sometimes exceeding over 32 years.

Mexican free tailed bats sometimes fly up to two miles high to feed or catch tailwinds that carry them over long distances at speeds of more than 60 mph.

Frog eating bats identify edible from poisonous frogs by listening to the mating calls of frogs.  

Nearly 1000 kinds of bats account for almost one fourth of all mammal species.

Worldwide bats are the most important natural enemies of night flying insects.

A single little brown bat can catch 600 mosquito's in just one hour.

Tropical bats are key elements in rain forest ecosystems, which rely on them to pollinate flowers, and disperse seeds for countless trees and shrubs.

Desert ecosystems rely on nectar feeding bats as primary pollinators of giant cacti, including organ pipe and saguaro of Arizona.

An anticoagulant from vampire bats saliva may soon be used to treat human heart patients and stroke victims.

Contrary to popular misconception, bats are not blind, do not become entangled in human hair, and seldom transmit disease to other animals or humans.

All mammals can contract rabies.   Even the rare bats that do contract it bite only in self defense.

More than 50% of American bat species are in severe decline or already listed as endangered.   Losses are occurring at alarming rates worldwide.   Loss of bats increases demand for chemical pesticides, can jeopardize whole ecosystems of other animal and plant species, and can harm human economies.

Thanks for reading, and have a good day.

Western barbastelle bats
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