B:
Flitter flutter in the air,
How I wonder why you're there?
Chasing bats is not much fun--
The worst is when you're killed by one.

--The Roguelet's ABC

Slang

Glass one-hitter used for the inhalation of marijuana (or butt hairs).

Named because of resemblance to baseball bat.
A flying mammal of the order Chiroptera. There are two sub-orders of bats, the Megachiroptera or flying foxes and the Microchiroptera which are smaller insectivorous bats. The wings of the bat evolved from the forelimbs; the finger bones are greatly elongated and joined to the forearm by a membrane, while the thumb is shaped into a claw which is used for catching insects or hanging on to surfaces. Bats have large ears, which helps them to locate objects by sonar - they can catch two flies in a second or detect and avoid a wire of diameter 0.1 mm. The head of a bat is usually rodentlike or foxlike. Bats vary greatly in size: the largest species, Pteropus vampyrus, has a wing span of 1.5 m, but the smallest bat, Craeseonycteris thonglongyai, has a wing span of only 15 cm.

Bats are found worldwide and usually live in colonies. They hunt at night and roost during the day. Some species roost in isolated locations such as caves, while others like the heat and dryness of external roosts such as tree trunks. Many species hibernate during the winter, and have to migrate between summer roosts and winter places of hibernation (such as a cave where the temperature is cool but not below freezing). Bats often form separate colonies for the different sexes, or clusters of each sex within a mixed-sex colony. Pregnant females go to separate "nursery roosts", which are sometimes chosen because they are hotter than average. Small bats suckle their young for 5-6 weeks, larger flying foxes for 5 months.

The commonest species of bats eat flying insects. The flying foxes eat fruit, and some rarer species of bat eat flowers, fish or small animals, while vampire bats live on the blood of larger birds and mammals. Bats are long-lived (some have lived for over 20 years) perhaps because roosting in secure places protects them from predators and their sonar makes them good at hunting and detecting threats.

The bone structure of a bat wing, which still strongly shows signs of its origins as a more normal weight-bearing limb, poses an interesting problem:

If bats did, as is theorized by evolution, develop their unique characteristics as a species over a long period of time, there would have to have been some intermediate stages. You couldn't go from foreleg to fully functional wing in one generation. But the idea of survival of the fittest would hold that those new forms had to have some sort of advantage to survive and reproduce.

So what could those in-between proto-bats have done with their new limbs that weren't quite legs and weren't quite wings?

Bats are incredibly common throughout the world. They probably outnumber all other animals in total numbers. There are over 850 known species of bats, and they are second only to rodents in number of species. Every continent in the world has bats, with the exception of Antarctica, and some of the species have existed in their present form for over 50 million years. The vast majority of bats live in tropical regions, with only 44 species known to exist in North America. Bats belong to the mammalian order Chiroptera, meaning "hand-wing".

Adult bats in North America range in size from less than a tenth of an ounce and having a wing span of 4 inches to weighing over 2.2 pounds and having a wing span of 6 feet. Most bats eat insects, although some eat fruit, vegetation, and even rarely frogs, small rodents and blood. Bats are incredibly important in controlling insect populations. One bat can eat an amazing 1000 to 3000 mosquitos in a single night. Because of this, many people are now putting bat nesting boxes in their yards, or planting bat gardens, with plants designed to attract bats. Bat watching is becoming a popular form of eco-tourism. Wildlife viewers from around the world visit Bracken Cave in Texas to watch over 20 million free-tailed bats rise in huge columns at dusk in pursuit of over 250,000 pounds of insects each night. One cave in Texas, the Eckert James River Bat Cave houses an incredible eight million bats each summer. This particular cave is a maternity colony where female nest before returning to Mexico for the winter.

Bats

Bats are the only true flying mammal. They are warm blooded and are covered in fur.They nourish their young with milk. They can fly long distances, using echo location to find their way. As a result they have a highly developed sense of smell and hearing. Bats are represented in Australia by 58 species including the fruit bat,Chiroptera pterpodidae, as well as the rare ghost bat, Macroderma gigas, of central Australia, which is a cannibal bat living on smaller species of its own kind and other animals.

We sit, brittle,
In the Spotted Cat and watch
the bat, inflatable and radiant
green, "Coors" scrawled
darkly across, as it is passed
hand to hand down the bar.
Each stool-sitter takes
a turn swinging, dealing
drubbings and judgement.
Drunken tyrants beknighting
the bar-keep, striking
tipless tourists with
despotic pops.


Originally published on my website at http://www.blacksundae.net/poetry/bat.html.

Bat (bat), n. [OE. batte, botte, AS. batt; perhaps fr. the Celtic; cf. Ir. bat, bata, stick, staff; but cf. also F. batte a beater (thing), wooden sword, battre to beat.]

1.

A large stick; a club; specifically, a piece of wood with one end thicker or broader than the other, used in playing baseball, cricket, etc.

2. (Mining)

Shale or bituminous shale. Kirwan.

3.

A sheet of cotton used for filling quilts or comfortables; batting.

4.

A part of a brick with one whole end.

Bat bolt (Machinery), a bolt barbed or jagged at its butt or tang to make it hold the more firmly. Knight.

 

© Webster 1913


Bat, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Batted (bat"ted); p. pr. & vb. n. Batting.]

To strike or hit with a bat or a pole; to cudgel; to beat. Holland.

 

© Webster 1913


Bat, v. i.

To use a bat, as in a game of baseball.

 

© Webster 1913


Bat, n. [Corrupt. from OE. back, backe, balke; cf. Dan. aften-bakke (aften evening), Sw. natt-backa (natt night), Icel. leðr- blaka (leðr leather), Icel. blaka to flutter.] (Zoöl.)

One of the Cheiroptera, an order of flying mammals, in which the wings are formed by a membrane stretched between the elongated fingers, legs, and tail. The common bats are small and insectivorous. See Cheiroptera and Vampire.

Silent bats in drowsy clusters cling.
Goldsmith.

Bat tick (Zoöl.), a wingless, dipterous insect of the genus Nycteribia, parasitic on bats.

 

© Webster 1913


Bat (?), n. [Siamese.]

Same as Tical, n., 1.

 

© Webster 1913


Bat, v. t. & i.

1.

To bate or flutter, as a hawk. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.]

2.

To wink. [Local, U. S. & Prov Eng.]

 

© Webster 1913


Bat, n.

1.

In badminton, tennis, and similar games, a racket.

2.

A stroke; a sharp blow. [Colloq. or Slang]

3.

A stroke of work. [Scot. & Prov. Eng.]

4.

Rate of motion; speed. [Colloq.] "A vast host of fowl . . . making at full bat for the North Sea." Pall Mall Mag.

5.

A spree; a jollification. [Slang, U. S.]

6.

Manner; rate; condition; state of health. [Scot. & Prov. Eng.]

 

© Webster 1913

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