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BABY BATS!!



OK, I'm thinking, 'Hmm, perhaps we need someone who rants on endlessly about
anything *but* dinosaurs...'. Perhaps..
 
> Darren, you are sick.

You should see the 'bloody bunny' pictures I have on my noticeboard.

> Besides that, I like you.

I'm glad to have anyone that draws sexually dimorphic dromaeosaurs as a friend
of mine, Betty! (with ref. to the last ish of Dino Report)

> Nude baby birds fall out of trees all the time.  If they survive the fall, >
> a predator usually gets them anyways.

In temperate climates, the babies die of cold before anything gets them. But in
the tropics there are carnivorous lizards, crabs and frogs waiting to consume
the fallen one (religious overtones). Some oceanic islands have skinks that
spend their time lying in wait amongst the mangrove roots. There are a group of
such lizards that, during seabird nesting season, eat nothing but eggs and
fallen babies. As I've said before, I'm no lizard expert, so I couldn't tell you
what they are (_Mabuya_? _Emoia_?). And then there's varanids too, but if they
want to eat nestlings, I don't think they need wait for the babies to fall out
of the nest! And as we know, varanids are predators of croc eggs, and were
almost certainly a problem for nesting dinosaurs too (as hadrosaur/_Orodromeus_
colonies suggest).

>    BATS, however.  Nude baby bats fall to the floor of a nursery cave, and 
> though the predators are lying in wait to take advantage of this frequent 
> occurence, bat mommas have it so a babysitting bat will come down and pick up 
> the baby bat and return it to the cave wall.  Bats survive this kind of fall, 
> but then bats have wings even with no fluff.

On a documentary about cave nesting birds and bats in SE Asia (possibly Sarawak
or thereabouts), the cave floor was literally crawling with a population of
scavenging beetles, cockroaches, millipedes and centipedes. During filming, a
baby bat fell to the floor and was consumed alive. Within literally a couple of
minutes, it was a baby bat skeleton. Downunder, Whites tree frog waits at cave
mouths to snatch unwary bats, and various snakes do too, including carpet
pythons and racers. On Sarawak, a subspecies of the Blue racer (called the
Sarawak cave racer I think), inhabits bat caves (dunna dunna dunna dunna dunna
dunna da--) and creates unusual meowing noises to help ascertain the whereabouts
of nearby fliers! You see, snakes are *not* mute..

Anyhow, back to bats. Adults picking up babies sounds amazing, but then bats
have evolved some very sophisticated behavioural routines. Vampires help out
roost-mates by regurgitating food for them if they have had no luck in getting
a meal for themselves, tent bats (obviously) work together to make a banana leaf
into a 'tent', and frog-eating bats have learnt to take fish from their human
captors hands in less than a day! Then, of course, frog-eaters are able to
distinguish species of frog from one another (and thus avoid the poisonous
ones), and even make good guesses at sex and size, thereby ensuring the biggest
catch available. 

Enough!! Sheesh - birds, bats, snakes, frogs... give me a sauropod to talk about
before I get booted off the list...

"Have you found Jesus yet ____?" "I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for
him Sir"

DARREN NAISH