A Bat the Size of a Bee

From Issue: Discovery 5/01/2012

Imagine going out into your yard just before dark and seeing a little flying bee whiz right in front of you.As it whips back around to make another pass, you realize it is not a bee. Its body is about the size of a bumblebee, but is has fur, and pointy ears, and a nose that looks like a pig. You realize it is a bat. That might happen to you if you lived in Thailand, because that is where the tiny bumblebee bat is found—one of the world’s smallest mammals.

As you might have guessed, the bumblebee bat gets its name from the fact that its body is about the size of a bumblebee. It weighs about two grams, which is .07 ounces—about the weight of a dime. The bat’s real name is Kitti’s hog-nosed bat. It got its “real” name from the fact that a man named Kitti Thonglonya  was the first to discover the bat in 1973. It got its “middle” name—hog-nosed—because its nose looks like a pig snout.

This micro mammal is an insectivore, which means that it eats insects. Bumblebee bats live in groups that number between 10 and 500. During the day, they hang upside down in limestone caves. At night, they fly out and eat insects off of bushes, or catch them in the air. Scientists estimate that there are only about 4,000 left in the wild.

When we study about these bitty bats, we also learn some things about God. First, we learn that God enjoys giving humans a variety of creatures to study and watch. Not only did God create the massive elephant, but He designed the bumblebee bat as well. Another thing we learn is that God is very smart. Only God could create such a marvelous, mini, micro, minuscule, miniature, minute mammal like the bumblebee bat.


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