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  • Flying through the night, I watch over this world,

  • a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a dark knight, I'm...

  • Okay, fine, so, I'm not Batman. I'm just a bat,

  • but like Batman, I'm often misunderstood.

  • People think I'm scary, strange and dangerous.

  • If they only knew my story, though, I'd be cheered as a hero.

  • When people think of bats, many think of vampires who want to suck their blood,

  • but the truth is that out of over 1200 bat species, only three are vampire bats.

  • Out of these three, only one prefers the blood of mammals,

  • and even these bats mostly feed on cattle.

  • Maybe that still doesn't seem so great, but vampire bats can be a great help to humans.

  • A chemical known as desmoteplase found in vampire bat saliva helps break down blood clots,

  • and is being tested by recovering stroke victims.

  • Of the remaining 1000+ species of bats, about 70% feed on insects.

  • These bats help control the real vampires: mosquitoes,

  • whose nasty bites are not just annoying but spread diseases, like West Nile virus.

  • A single little brown bat can eat 1000 insects every hour,

  • and a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats can eat several tons of moths in just one night.

  • In the United States alone, bats provide an estimated 3.7 billion dollars worth of free pest control for farmers,

  • which benefits everyone who eats the foods that they grow.

  • Fruit bats, also called megabats because of their large size, are important for the role they play in plant pollination.

  • By traveling between flowers while feeding on nectar and fruits,

  • these bats transport the pollen and seeds that help plants reproduce.

  • In Southeast Asia, for example, the cave nectar bat is the only pollinator of the durian fruit.

  • Other bats pollinate peaches, bananas, and the agave plants that tequila is made from.

  • Without them, many of our food plants would be unable to produce the tasty fruits we enjoy.

  • As heroes of the ecosystem, bats have their own unique utility belts.

  • Bats have been a source of inspiration for the design of flying robots and even an energy-efficient spy plane,

  • as they are the only mammal capable of true powered flight.

  • Echolocation, a type of biological sonar, is also used by bats as a way to navigate and find prey in the dark.

  • Although there's a common misconception that bats are blind, in truth, all species of bats have sight.

  • And some have even adapted large eyes to see better in dim lighting.

  • Many people worry about getting infected by bats,

  • and like any other animals, bats can carry diseases, like rabies.

  • In reality though, less than 0.5% of all bats carry this virus.

  • That's about the same odds as getting the same result on a coin flip eight times in a row.

  • The perception that bats are often diseased may come from the fact that

  • sick bats, who may show unusual behavior, emerge during the daytime, or be unable to fly,

  • are more likely to be encountered by people.

  • So a good way to protect yourself is to protect bats as well,

  • keeping them healthy, protecting their habitats,

  • and reducing their risk of transmitting disease.

  • In North America, bats are threatened by a devastating sickness called white-nose syndrome.

  • This fungal infection causes bats to wake up while hibernating during a winter.

  • Unable to find food, they expend large amounts of energy, and eventually starve to death.

  • White-nose syndrome has wiped out entire caves full of bats, with a mortality rate that can exceed 90%.

  • Climate change and habitat destruction also pose serious threats to bat populations.

  • For example, in January 2014, a record heat wave in Australia caused over 100,000 bats to die from heat exhaustion.

  • Some people just want to watch the world burn,

  • and bats all over the world are threatened by damage to the places that we call home,

  • including mangrove swamps, old-growth forests, and, of course, bat caves.

  • So even though I'm the hero of the story, I do need to be saved.

  • And now that you know the true story about us bats,

  • you can learn how to protect such heroic animals.

  • Install a properly designed bat box, one of the easiest ways to provide shelter for bats.

  • Discourage the use of pesticides,

  • which can harm bats when we try to feed on the insects you want to get rid of in the first place.

  • Avoid going into caves where you might disturb hibernating bats,

  • and always decontaminate your gear after visiting a cave.

  • If you have unwanted bats living in an attic or barn,

  • contact your local government to safely and humanely relocate us.

  • And if you come across a bat, do not attempt to handle it, but instead, call Animal Control.

  • Batman might want to keep his identity secret,

  • but a great way to help real bats is by continuing to learn about them and spreading the truth that they are real heroes,

  • even if their good deeds are often unseen.

Flying through the night, I watch over this world,

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TED-ED】I'm Batman - エイミー・レイ (【TED-Ed】I'm Batman - Amy Wray)

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    稲葉白兎 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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