by John Morgan
BATS – For many people, bats are perhaps one of the most bizarre creatures in the animal kingdom. Bats are the only true flying mammal — sorry Bullwinkle, your friend Rocky merely glides. They live in shadows and darkness, which evokes strong emotions. Bats roost in hollows, crevices, and caves, as well in other fearful locations people tend to avoid: attics, abandon homes, and speaker’s podiums.
Emerging at dusk to feed (mainly on insects – go get them bats!). Many species locate their prey using echolocation (using sound to produce echoes off its food source). Their echolocation adaptation has also developed some rather unusual facial structures and curvatures that just add to the bats otherworldly appearance.
It is generally believed, that bats became associated with Halloween through their frequent visits to the large bonfires built during the Celts annual Samhain festivals. We have all heard the expression, “like moths to a flame.” Well, we could easily develop that logic chain further by saying, “like bats to a moth.” Since bats were there during the genesis of the customs and rituals that ultimately led to Halloween, they have become one of the holiday’s most powerful symbols. Bats appear to be forever linked to the uniqueness of the season, as they fly through space and time alongside their two-legged — costume adorning — mammalian cousins.