Nov 8, 2007


Here's a bit of trivia: the word 'bat' comes from the old Norse ledhrblaka, meaning 'leather flapper' (the word got reduced to bakka, then to bat). It would seem that the Vikings were very practical in their nomenclature.

This particular species of leather flapper is known as the fisherman bat, found from Central America down to Argentina. They collect their food by swimming across the surface of the water and gaffing small fish with their curved claws.

This particular photo triggered an 'aw' from me do to the baby clinging to mommy's fur. But I'll tell you what, these bats can swim, using their wings as oars. And I can't think of a worse final moment for a fish than to be swimming just beneath the surface of the water, only to see one of these rowing its way over to you, baby or no baby.

Thanks for the link, G Felis. Thanks also to the good folks at the Manzanita Project for allowing me to post this photo.

Photo source: Glenn and Martha Vargas © California Academy of Sciences


Meirav Rath said...

Leather flapper is cute but 'flying mouse' is even cuter when said in some languages like Russian' 'litucheyamish' or German' 'fledermause' (which is, really, the only thing that sounds remotely cute in German...)

I wonder if this particular bat would actually go into water with her baby.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Bats are cute. I've got to say, I find the aspect of amphibious bat assault unnerving, though.

Anonymous said...

Aw. I want a bat. but it would prolly be much happier out in the wild.

Arachnophile said...

That is so cute I can hardly stand it! That's a cool species.

Nonexistant Black Feather said...

It can swim? OMG! I want one. heh.

Anonymous said...

Darn it, I was sure that "ledhrblaka" was something that Christopher Paolini had made up. Old Norse is officially the silliest language I have ever heard.