Anatomy of a Bat


    Some of the parts of a Bat

      A bat is not a mouse with wings, n'or is it a bird with fur and teeth. A bat is a bat, in an order of its own, Chiroptera, which in Latin means "hand-wing." In looking at the anatomy of a bat we notice that the wing structure is made up of elongated arms with four elongated fingers and a thumb. Between the fingers and also connected to the body, back to the tail, is a thin skin membrane. This makes up the bat wing. Most bats have the skin membrane attached to the hind legs and tail making a large wing.
      The hind feet of a bat have toes with claws. With toes the bat can hang (upside-down) from its roost. When hunting, the bat will sometimes catch an insect with its wings, transfer it to the hind feet and then to its mouth. The hind feet are very handy, but they cannot walk on them.

The Weasel and the Bat

Once a bat slipped from his roost in a tree and fell to the ground.
A hungry weasel was beneath the tree.
A good meal, he thought, as he snapped at the bat.
"Help me! Please save me!" the bat cried, knowing he was about to die.
"Why should I save you?" asked the weasel. "You are my enemy.
In fact, you are my worst enemy among birds."
"But I am not a bird," said the bat.
"See my fur? See my teeth? I'm sort of a flying mouse."
"Then I suppose I'll let you go," the weasel said.

      Later, the same bat slipped from his roost again.
He was caught by a different weasel,
who happened to be hunting beneath the tree.
"I shall eat you," said the weasel.
"I fancy a tasty mouse for dinner."
"But I am not a mouse," said the bat. "Look at my wings."
"Then I suppose you are a bird. I will let you go," the second weasel said.
And so twice the bat went free.

      From a fable by Æsop of Ancient Greece


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