Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Test Your Bat Q

Welcome to Bat Conservation International (BCI) month in A Year of Centuries!  I’m really looking forward to sharing some bat information with you over the next few weeks.  I hope you’ll come along for the ride and gain a greater understanding and appreciation for these marvelous and important creatures.  To kick things off, test your current knowledge with this bat quiz from the Educator’s Activity Book about Bats:

A.    True or False?
1. Bats swoop down and become caught in people’s hair.
2. Bats are the only kind of mammals that can fly.
3. Bats are flying mice.
4. Bats are blind.
5. Most bats are dirty and carry rabies.
6. If you see a bat on the ground during the day, it might be sick.
7. There really are bats that feed on blood.
8. Bats produce several litters a year, just like mice.
9. Bats are ugly animals.
10. A single bat can catch 600 mosquitoes in just one hour.

B. Bats around the world eat which of the following things (select all correct answers):

C. The biggest bat in the world has a wingspan of what size:
1 foot
3 feet
6 feet
50 feet

D. The smallest bat in the world is the size of what animal:
Guinea pig

E. Worldwide there are about ____ different species of bats:

F. In the United States there are about ____ kinds of bats:

G. Bats are what kind of animals:

H. Most bats produce ____ baby(ies) a year

I. Bats are found in which of the following places (select all correct answers)
Tree holes
Plant leaves
Tree bark
Rock crevices

J. Bats live in which of the following kinds of areas (select all correct answers)
Rain forests
Polar regions

K. Bats are important to the environment because they: (select all correct answers)
Pollinate flowers
Distribute plant seeds
Eat insects


1. False – Insects often hover around people, and a hungry bat may seem to swoop down in hot pursuit of a pesky mosquito.  Their sonar ability is sophisticated enough to find such an insect in complete darkness.  They certainly are not going to blunder into a person’s hair.

2. True – Mammals such as flying squirrels are actually gliders.  Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight.  There is a great diversity of flight patterns among the nearly 1,000 kinds of bats.  Some can hover like hummingbirds while feeding on nectar, and a few diurnal flying foxes are able to soar on thermals just like eagles.

3. False – While bats may resemble mice with wings, they are not closely related to rodents.  Both bats and mice are mammals, but studies indicate that bats are more closely related to primates (and humans) than to rodents.  Flying fox bats have a brain organization very similar to ours.

4. False – All bats have vision and see well.  Insectivorous bats often have small eyes and depend primarily on their echolocation (sonar) to navigate and find food.  Fruit bats, especially flying foxes, have excellent vision and a good sense of smell, which they use to find ripe fruit.  Flying fox bats, who have large eyes, are not able to echolocate.  Sonar is not needed to find stationary food.

5. False – Bats are very clean and groom themselves several times a day just like cats.  The issue of bats and rabies is greatly exaggerated.  Bats can contract rabies just like all mammals, but they are not asymptomatic carriers of rabies, and they quickly die from the disease.  The incidence of rabies in bats is less than half of one percent.  In more than 40 years of record keeping in the U.S., only 20 people are believed to have died from contact with bats.  People have little to fear from bats if they never try to handle them.  An important message for children, especially when they come to like bats, is that bats are wild animals that should never be touched.  Any bat or wild animal that can be approached is more likely than others to be sick.

6. True – see information in no. 5.

7. True – Vampire bats feed on blood from livestock.  The bat bites through the host animal’s skin and laps up the blood.  Vampire bats comprise a very small portion of the world’s bats.

8. False – Bats usually produce only pup per year.  This is one factor that makes bats exceptionally vulnerable to extinction.

9. False – Various species of bats can look vastly different from each other, but all of them are beautiful in their own way, just like people!  Besides, can you really call this bat ugly?

10. True – Bats help control insect populations that feed on crops that are important to people and keep farmers from having to use so many pesticides.

B. All are correct.

C. Nearly 6 feet, a flying fox bat from Java

D. Bumblebee, the bumblebee bat from Thailand

E. 1,000

F. 40

G. Mammals

H. 1

I. All are correct.

J. Bats live in all of these areas except polar regions.

K. All are correct.

No comments:

Post a Comment