Greater Mouse-tailed Bat

Have you noticed that when a person opens a bag of chips and starts munching that it draws the attention of others? You may find that those who were paying no attention to you suddenly come to your side to “converse,” when actually they are hoping you will offer to share the chips with them. Animals may not be much different in that respect. The greater mouse-tailed bat (Rhinopoma microphyllum) is native to northern Africa and areas of Asia. They live in subtropical and dry shrubland areas. Although they don’t eat potato or corn chips, they exhibit the “bag of chips effect.” They prefer to eat flying ants, and like other bats, they find their prey by echolocation. When they have spotted a meal, they send out a “feeding buzz” of short cries.

These bats can echolocate flying ants 10 meters away. However, they can hear a feeding buzz from another bat 100 meters away. It’s as if the other bat has ripped open a bag of chips and started munching. Suddenly the bat has friends showing up from every direction.

I don’t know how the bats feel about it, but we know that sharing is a good thing. God designed us to share with others, and He even added a little sharing to the DNA of the greater mouse-tailed bat.
© Roland Earnst

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