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Oklahoma State Flying Mammal

Mexican free-tailed bats - click to see all state mammals
Close-up photo of Mexican free-tailed bat from Bats on the Web: Texas Parks & Wildlife (used by permission*). Free-tailed bats flying from Davis Blowout Cave, Texas - photo © William R. Elliott: Cave Life Photos - U of Texas (used by permission).
All State Animals - Mammals.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

Mexican free-tailed bat video

Oklahoma designated the Mexican free-tailed bat as the official state flying mammal in 2006. State Representative Jeff Hickman (one of the bill's sponsors) explained that the Mexican free-tailed bat flies to Oklahoma to breed and then flies back to its indigenous Mexico. He said, "Texas also has the Mexican free-tailed bat as its official flying mammal but the only thing it does in Texas is leave a few droppings on its way to Oklahoma."

Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) live in caves in the southern US, Central and South America. Their colonies are the largest congregations of mammals in the world. The largest colony found in Texas (near San Antonio) has nearly 20 million bats, which eat around 250 tons of insects per night! Flights like the one pictured above may travel hundreds of miles and fly to an altitude of 3,000 meters to feed on insects at night.

Bats are intelligent, unique mammals facing multiple threats of ignorance, suspicion, poisoning, roost destruction, habitat loss, and over-exploitation.

"Bats are the only true flying mammal and are unquestioned champions of aeronautics...our own distant relative, the bones of a bat's wings are essentially the same design as those in human arms and hands, having a thumb and four fingers. The brain of a "flying fox" has more in common with a primate than a rodent." - condensed from Bats: Jaguar Paw.

Source:
OK-Mexican bats: Oklahoma Insider
Mexican Free-Tailed Bat: The Wild Ones Animal Index
Bats: Jaguar Paw
Cave Life Photos - U of Texas
Effects of Global Change on Bats: US Geological Survey
* Photo of bat close-up was copied on 09/19/04 from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department's Web Site: www.tpwd.state.tx.us. Neither this website, nor the information presented on this website, is endorsed by the State of Texas or Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
Links:
Southwestern Bats: US Geological Survey
Bat Conservation International
What's so bad about Bats? by Sue Chastain
All State Animals - Mammals


    

 

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Mexican Free-Tailed Bat Video

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