How Do Bats Know

When the Bugs Are Out?

Bats eat bugs, but bugs are cold blooded. When it is cold, bugs do not fly and bats cannot eat them. How does a bat living far underground in a cave that stays at 55 degrees F year-round know whether the bugs are out or not?

An ecologist at the University of Illinois has discovered that bats use changes in air pressure to tell if the bugs are out. When air pressure is low, it is because the air is light in weight and rising due to the fact that it is warm. When the pressure is high, the air is dense due to cold temperatures.

Researchers have found that if the barometer is above 29.1 inches of mercury, bats in Illinois do not leave their caves. The bats use a middle ear receptor called the vitali organ to measure pressure and can detect changes less than one tenth of an inch of mercury.

All living things have specialized structures to help them survive in the ecological niche designed for them. Truly we can know there is a God through the things He has made.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, Sep/Oct 1996