Bats: Wonders of the Night

In this week’s It’s Okay To Be Smart you’ll learn all about some BAT-ass flying mammals. 

I live in Austin, TX, a city known for breakfast tacos, cowboy hipsters, live music, and BATS. Lots of bats. Yet, even after living in this city for years, I had no idea just how many bats called Central Texas home. That is, until I shot this video.

Our backdrop for this episode, Bracken Cave near San Antonio, TX, is a very special place. That cave is home the largest congregation of mammals on Earth, 20+ million Mexican free-tailed bats. In some areas of the cave, 200+ are hanging in a single square foot! At sunset, when they journey out to find dinner… well, it’s one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen (and heard). Their emergence lasts hours, flowing overhead like a river of wings, rushing by with the sound of a fluttering waterfall.

The bats that live here can eat as many as 100 tons of insects in a single night! Exactly how they hunt is even cooler, but you’ll have to watch the video to find out more.

You’ll also learn what bats eat, why they might be the most advanced flying hunters in nature, the incredible impact they have on ecosystems, and how we are threatening their future with disease and habitat loss. Oh, and poop. You’ll learn about bat poop.

Special thanks to Bat Conservation International for their help making this video. They own the land around Bracken Cave, in order to protect this natural treasure for the future. Check out their website to learn how you can help protect these amazing animals.

If you like the videos we’re making, please consider subscribing on YouTube, and share this one with your bat-loving friends :)