Lepto Lessons and Resources on Journey North

Bat Facts
For years, the mysterious lives of bats have presented challenges to scientists and others trying to learn about them. The details of their lives are hidden under the cover of darkness. Facts about them are not easy to discover. Why aren't these bats found in Arizona and New Mexico during the winter months? Where do they go—and why? Why do they return? For some facts that may (or may not!) serve as clues to help you answer those questions, see:

Why do YOU think lesser long-nosed bats migrate?
After making your own range map and thinking about the facts on the Bat Chat page, you'll be able to answer that question like a scientist! Here?s how to make a Lepto range map, which is a map that shows the boundaries within which a species (in this case, the leptos, or lesser long-nosed bats) can be found.

How Do We Know What Bats Eat?
Finding the answer is not as easy as you may think! Do bats? nutritional requirements change through the seasons? See:

Dessert First: Sugar and Protein, Bats and Flowers
Nectar is loaded with sugar--a carbohydrate that provides a lot of energy. But bats cannot live on sugar alone. Where do they get their protein? How are the lives of flowers good matches for their particular pollinators?

Do Leptos Follow a Nectar Trail?
Is arrival of the bats at roosts along their migratory route timed with the flowering of their preferred food? You can find out! Compare locations on your Lepto range map with a blooming calendar of the most important nectar sources and facts about WHEN the bats were seen at each location. You?ll find out: Do Leptos follow a nectar trail?

Let?s Hear it for the Forgotten Pollinators!
Did you know that about every 4 out of 5 bites of food you eat is the direct result of bees and other animals pollinating those fruits and vegetables? Why are pollinators important? What pressures put these species in danger?

Mystery Pollinator Adventure
Make the link from flowers on plants to the food in your grocery store. One of the tools you?ll use for this adventure is a list of pollinator syndromes, which helps us make educated guesses about the pollinators that visit and pollinate particular flowers.

Bat Math
How much energy does it take to operate a bat? How many flowers must a bat visit to stay alive? Get ready to count the calories in a cactus flower. Then answer some high-powered questions:

Bats in Folklore
Throughout the world, folklore is rich with tales speculating on how creatures as mysterious as bats came to be. Sample three fables:

Finding Bats
Where can you find a bat? What should you record? What can you report to Journey North? Find out here:

Photo Gallery: A Closer Look at Leptos
Did you know that, when fully extended, a lepto?s tongue is longer than its head? Why is a saguaro flower a perfect fit for a lepto?s head? How do leptos find the flowers with only starlight to guide them? See a lepto?s face covered with pollen. Why does Katy wear gloves when working with bats?

Migratory Pollinators
Find out which three migratory pollinators you can meet in Journey North reports and see a map of their routes. Why are migratory pollinators important to you? Why is it important to protect them? How can you help?

Q. and A. With Katy Hinman, Lepto Expert
How did Katy get interested in bats? What is she trying to find out in her field work? What techniques does Katy use to help her learn about these fast-flying, nighttime creatures? What do bats eat? What is the most important thing Katy has learned? Find out here:

Video Clips and the Scientific Process
See Katy's comments as you view clips like you?ve never seen before, and check out our suggestions for viewing video clips as a scientist.

Build a Bat House
Do big brown bats or little brown bats live in your area? They often nest in bat houses. You can build one and attract these mosquito-eaters to your yard. See plans here.

For More Information

Tuttle, M.D. 1991. Bats, the cactus connection. National Geographic, vol. 179, no. 6, pp. 130-140.