ERIC Number: EJ722141
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Are Bats Dangerous?
Science and Children, v42 n2 p28-29 Oct 2004
There are many reasons people are afraid of bats but most are myths. Many people are also afraid of bats because they believe all bats are vampire bats, or bats that feed on blood. There are a few species of bats called "vampire" bats;however, these bats are found in Central and South America--there are no vampire bats in the United States or Canada. Although vampire bats are considered pests, they have been beneficial to humans. For example, a new drug, called Draculin, has been synthesized by using vampire bat saliva, which contains an anticoagulant; this allows blood from its prey to continue flowing. This drug is now being used on people with arteriosclerosis with good results. Most bats in the United States and Canada feed on insects, not only backyard insects but also many that are detrimental to farmers' crops. By eating crop pests, bats reduce the need for pesticides, which are unhealthy and cost farmers millions of dollars each year. This article also discusses dangers to bats as well as way in which communities can adopt strategies to help bats find places to live, and reduce mosquito populations in their neighborhoods.
National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.nsta.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Canada; South America; United States