Gail Barnes, from the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center visited us at LJA with a presentation of bats. Her illustration included preserved bats and two live pet bats. We learned the most common bat living here in Lubbock is the Mexican Free-tailed Bat. It loves to live in caves, trees, bushes, barns, and in the top floor of J.C. Penny.

A large number of bats at Caprock Canyon State Park live in a cave, nicknamed a maternity cave. During the winter the only bats in this cave are the older and disabled bats. There are six different kinds of bats living here in Lubbock, that can be seen flying at nighttime. Each bat searches for 3,000 insects to squelch it’s ravenous appetite.

Gail informed us bats can see quite well and are incredibly clean animals that spend lots of time grooming themselves. It is a myth that bats get tangled in people’s hair. Bats fly with their hands. The bones of a bat wing are like those in a human arm and hand, except bats have extremely long fingers. Bats can live up to 30 years in captivity.

LJA students asked many questions about the habits of bats, and learned that they are never to touch or pick one up. These flying mammals use pulses of sound to navigate and catch fast-moving prey.

It was another interesting day at Lubbock Junior Academy!

Susan Zimmermann