On Board the Bat Boat!

By Maha Khalil

 

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 Yet another Biology Club bat-watching felucca set sail for two hours on Thursday, October 25th carrying twelve people, large quantities of pizza and pepsi, a forsaken cheesecake and a curious little device shaped like a small black box with knobs. This device is the star of the show. The so-called “bat-detector” is the means by which you can “watch” bats. It translates the ultrasonic waves emitted by bats to sounds that human ears can detect, and, depending on the frequency the device is set to receive and the description of the sound, you can find out which kind of bat you just detected.

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 Many people believe or have been told that bats are blind and that this is why they use echolocation. But this is not true! No species of bat is blind. However, bats do use echolocation along with their sense of smell in order to find their food. They also use it to navigate in the complete darkness of their caves.

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 Bat-watching aside, the ride is a very relaxing and enjoyable way to spend the evening with friends or get to know some new friends. The refreshing Nile breeze and the good company are always worth the fifteen minute walk from campus to the docks. The ride takes place once every semester, always at dusk which is when the bats are usually flying about. If you missed us this semester, just look out for our fliers in the Spring…

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