Very Important Bat news: Bats can swim.
It’s only fitting in this week heading into Halloween, officials are sharing an incredible video of a bat swimming.
“New swim move — bat stroke,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tweeted.
Researchers at Brown University used high-resolution, high-speed video cameras to capture amazing images of a brown bat swimming.
New swim move — bat stroke.— U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (@USFWS) October 24, 2022
✨ Believe it or not… bats can swim! Researchers at Brown University used high-resolution, high-speed video cameras to view the details of swimming motion patterns in bats for comparisons to their wing movement during flight. #BatWeek pic.twitter.com/gQJm4ptHNS
The internet has been floored — and flooded with questions.
Like, do bats like swimming?
Not so much, according to Alberta Bats.
Not their first choice of locomotion! More like a survival tactic when they accidentally tumble into a pond while drinking. They sip water while in flight (like swallows do).— Alberta Bats (@albertabats) October 25, 2022
And what happens if they try to fly from water?
Basically, they can’t.
They cannot take off from water! They do need to land ashore (& dry off a bit) & often they need to climb up a tree or something to get enough height to get aloft. They don't LIKE to swim. But it happens! Usually b/c they tumble into a pond while drinking in flight.— Alberta Bats (@albertabats) October 25, 2022
And, is this really the bat stroke or something else entirely?
Ooo, we really missed that one. Batterfly is better.— U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (@USFWS) October 24, 2022
And if not, the batterfly, then maybe aquabatics?
Oh wow, Aquabats! 🌊🦇😃— Stooo Richards (@rikardorichards) October 25, 2022
It’s not the first time bats have been seen doing laps.
The Journal of Mammalogy noted it for the first time in this 1955 excerpt:
“A little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus lucifugus) was found in the water of Western Lake Erie near Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. When discovered it was approximately 200 feet from the shoreline of Gibraltar Island at the location of the Stone Laboratory building. It was first observed at 7:45 pm (E.S.T.), while still light, on June 23, 1954. The bat swam the shortest possible distance to shore with only its head above water and landed on the beach where it was captured. It was nearly exhausted from its long swim and did not struggle when handled. It was found to be a post partum female (determined by Dr. Elizabeth Smith). Unfortunately it perished in captivity before arrangements could be made to band and release it. On Gibraltar Island there were two groups of bats residing during the summer months, one in the attic of the boat house and the other in the attic of the men’s dormitory. In some way one of them apparently fell into the lake, but it was able to swim ashore.”
And, there have been sightings since.
In any event, bats are amazing creatures.
Happy Bat Week!
Direct Quote:— Richard Shears (@BatAdvocate) October 26, 2022
“Researchers at Brown University used high-resolution, high-speed video cameras to view the details of swimming motion patterns in bats for comparisons to their wing movement during flight. They discovered many similarities in the sequence…https://t.co/BxAjTlVZIk