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  • flying it's something many of us wish we could do  diving like a peregrine falcon at speeds of over  

  • 300 kilometers per hour are soaring the skies with  the three meter wingspan of an albatross but only  

  • certain types of animals can do it and today we're  going to talk about the only group of mammals that  

  • can fly bats i know those guys seem to have a bit  of a bad rep these days but you'll soon discover  

  • just how extraordinary these creatures are and  the important role they play in our everyday lives  

  • now as a child you were probably introduced to  bats via the infamous vampire bats those little  

  • bloodsuckers associated with dracula well there  are more than a thousand other species bats make  

  • up 20 of all mammals and because of that they're  everywhere living on almost every continent and  

  • they vary greatly in size and appearance take the  flying fox for example this species has a wingspan  

  • of about a meter and a half while the bump will  be bat as its name suggests has a wingspan of just  

  • 15 centimeters you may be sensing a common theme  here when i'm talking about all of these bats and  

  • bat species they're wings that's because batwings  are incredible and not just because of the varying  

  • sizes now the easiest comparison to make is  between bats and birds while some birds are  

  • great at cruising flight bats have the edge when  it comes to maneuvering and all that comes down  

  • to how bats wings are built the bone structure of  bat wings is incredibly flexible if you've ever  

  • watched a bat hunt an insect you can see just how  agile they are almost like an aerial acrobat bats  

  • have similar bones that we humans have their arms  consist of the same bones and joints as we do an  

  • upper arm an elbow a lower arm a wrist and digits  that's right they have a hand in their wings with  

  • fingers that actually support the wing this allows  for incredible precision and maneuverability bats  

  • have four elongated digits that they can flex and  bend and a thumb that remains separate with a claw  

  • some use this cloth for climbing or crawling while  others use it to handle food connecting these  

  • limbs in the digits is a skin membrane called the  potassium that consists of two layers of epidermis  

  • and dermis that surround blood vessels nerves  and tendons unlike our skin which acts like a  

  • protective barrier bat skin actually helps them  move now we usually don't associate skin as a  

  • way of generating movement but this membrane is  key to how bats perfect their maneuvering skills  

  • in flight while flying seems pretty amazing to us  it's one of the most taxing ways of getting around  

  • and this is true especially for bats during  flight a bat's heartbeat can surge to over 1  

  • 000 beats per minute and their body temperature  can rise to more than 39 degrees celsius that's  

  • over 102 degrees fahrenheit for some animals  that might mean certain death but not for bats  

  • researchers seem to think these stressors  are what built the bats superpower  

  • their immune system bats are known to host some of  the world's deadliest viruses from rabies to ebola  

  • to even some coronaviruses possibly even the  virus that causes covet 19. a bat's immune system  

  • responds differently than ours to these types of  infections preventing the animal from falling sick  

  • and this research suggested that flight may be the  reason why it's believed that when bats evolved  

  • to fly their energy metabolism was altered to  adapt to the high energetic demands of flight  

  • but this high metabolic rate can eventually  damage their dna which can negatively impact  

  • their health so to prevent this bats have evolved  mechanisms to lessen their immune response  

  • resulting in bats not being affected by  these diseases the same way we humans are  

  • this makes them natural disease reservoirs and  because of this they get a bad reputation but  

  • they're crucial members to our world and those  little creatures need our help more than ever  

  • environmental threats like deforestation and  wildlife trade are putting bat populations  

  • under enormous pressure and in turn this puts  us in danger as well we continue to infringe  

  • on their world by destroying their habitat  which in turn creates more opportunities for  

  • diseases to jump from one species to another and  like most of our natural world we need bats they  

  • play important roles in our ecosystems from pest  controllers to pollinators thousands of plants  

  • rely on bats for pollination or to spread seeds  some of our favorite fruits like mangoes guava  

  • and even avocados wouldn't be here if it weren't  for them the great part is that you can help and  

  • the wildlife conservation society has some great  tips it could be as easy as looking at your  

  • backyard or outside your window and it doesn't  matter if you live in downtown manhattan or san  

  • francisco or in the woods somewhere you can help  by doing what actually my wife and i have recently  

  • done which is we've gotten rid of our lawn and  we're replanting pollinators for those who are  

  • not as fortunate as people like myself just a box  outside your window native plants and starting to  

  • contribute to bringing back insects in the native  flora and fauna of your area you can do something  

  • that's very profound thanks for watching seeker's  new series tusk to tales i'm evan anton and i hope  

  • you enjoyed this video if there's an animal you  want us to cover leave us a comment see you next

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flying it's something many of us wish we could do  diving like a peregrine falcon at speeds of over  

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B1 bat flight immune immune system skin membrane

Why the Immune System Is a Bat’s Secret Superpower

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/29
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