June 23, 2010 by wcobserver
By Rebekah Spurlock, Interpreter
This weekend marks the 21st annual celebration of Devil’s Den State Park’s favorite flying mammal – the bat! These small, often misunderstood creatures are actually of great importance and benefit to us all. The bats of Devil’s Den State Park, including the tricolor bat, the big brown bat, and the endangered Indiana and Ozark Big-eared bats are all nocturnal insectivores. These bats are capable of eating thousands of pesky insects a night! Not only do they eat those pesky mosquitoes and gnats, but every night they also eat hundreds of moths that lay thousands of hungry, hungry caterpillars that want to eat our food! Throughout the world, bats are also responsible for helping to repopulate the rain forest by depositing seeds in rich guano as well as helping scientist and doctors learn how to create an anti-coagulant that has helped heart and stroke victims! Surprised? Well, be amazed at the variety and beauty of the very special creatures this weekend at Devil’s Den State Park.
The weekend’s activities include the return of Batman Harry Harnish. Harnish will be sharing his aptly named program, “Batty Travels,” on Friday evening at 8:45 pm at the amphitheater. His program will take you from the Colorado River in Utah to a bat workshop in the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona to the thrill of a lifetime at Bracken Cave. Come explore the mysterious world of bats with Batman Harry Harnish.
Plus, Saturday night, Dr. Lynn Robbins of Missouri State University will be presenting “Wind, Wings, and White-Nose”. Dr. Robbins is noted for his research into the echolocation calls of bats. His captivating amphitheater presentation about bats in a changing world will be followed by a bat netting demonstration. You do not want to miss this exciting opportunity to see live bats.
There are also several fun programs for the whole family to enjoy, including a bat house workshop (registration required) where your family can create their own bat house as well as batty story time, crafts and games for the kids. For more information about the weekend’s festivities please visit: http://park.devils-den.info/upcoming3.pdf. Come be batty at Devil’s Den State Park as we celebrate the beneficial bats at Bat-O-Rama XXI.
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