McDowell Technical Community College

Christy’s Corner


By Christy Lowman

Burke County

By now, you have probably figured out that I love animals. I enjoy researching and learning fascinating facts about the creatures God has created! But today, I’m going to talk about a mammal I don’t like. Bats. I don’t like bats. Why you ask? Because they like to fly too close to my head! I cannot tell you the number of times that a bat touched my cheek or swooped within inches of my head! That’s why I do not like bats, but that is not fair to them. God made bats, so they deserve to be recognized. Besides, there are a lot of fascinating facts about bats, so many that I won’t be able to tell you all of them in this article.

There are over 1240 species of bats. These species are divided into 2 groups: megabats and microbats. Megabats are very large bats that only eat fruit. The largest is the rare Giant Golden-crowned flying fox bat, whose wingspan can reach up to 6 feet across. Megabats have really good eyesight and chose to depend on this sense instead of their superpower that God gave them. Microbats on the other hand, have poor eyesight and rely a great deal on their God-given superpower. Most microbats eat insects, and some eat small animals. Vampire bats are also included in the microbat group, they are the only mammals whose diet is solely blood.  The smallest microbat is the bumble bee bat, who weighs less than a penny and is the size of a thumbnail.

Bats come out at night and are the only mammals that can fly. The Mexican free-tailed bats can fly up to 250 miles a night, as fast as 60 mph, and up to 10,000 ft. high. At night, brown bats can eat up to 1200 mosquitos an hour and can live up to 30 years. Bracken Bat Cave, Texas is home to 20 million Mexican Free-tailed bats that eat 200 tons of insects every night. More bats live in this cave than people live in Mumbai, India, one of the highest populated cities in the world. When this family of bats leave the cave, it looks like a storm passing through on the radar. I would not want to be outside when this occurs!

I want to talk more about bats’ superpower, called echolocation. Echolocation is the ability to make sounds and noises that reflect back to you in the form of echoes. The echoes that bounce back to them help them maneuver at night and find food. Echolocation shows the exact location of their prey. This God-given gift is so sensitive that bats can sense objects as thin as a single human hair. This superpower also alerts bats of moths that are poisonous so they don’t eat them. I like to think of the echolocation as a gigantic force field for the bats. It’s this invisible shield from God, that bats bounce sounds off of to protect and keep them safe from objects and to help them locate and distinguish between poisonous and safe food to eat. To me this is amazing! Even though I don’t care much for bats, they are really cool!

Did you know that God also gave you an invisible shield? He sure did! It is part of the armor of God, called the “shield of faith.”  This shield will protect you from whatever the enemy sends your way. The devil wants to seek and destroy us because we are made in the image of God, but by believing that God is your shield, you will be protected. All you have to do is have faith that the shield is real and that God is protecting you! Ask God to give you your very own shield and to protect you from anything that might come your way and He will! God will put a forcefield around you to keep you safe. He will create a safe haven for you. He will wrap his arms around you like an eagle’s wings and shield you from any storm you may encounter! Our God is mighty, and awesome, and He is all we need! Don’t forget to praise and thank Him each and every time He protects you. That makes God super happy!

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Eph. 6:16 NIV

Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. Psalms 33:20 NASB

Dear Lord, we thank You and praise You so much for Your shield that protects us from the things we see and the things we don’t see. I pray that You will help develop the faith of each child so they will rely solely on You in all parts of their life. For You are mighty, and awesome and are worthy of all of our praise! AMEN.