Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bat lessons!

False Vampire Bat
Photo by Nick Baker

The month of September was dedicated to one of our favourite mammals, bats!

Bats are awesome flying mammals. Bats are important to humans as they help pollinate plants which in turn produce fruit for us. Bats which eat insects help control our insect-pest numbers, while bats which eat fruit help disperse seeds and hence help us grow forests.

In this lesson, kids were grouped according to three types of native bats found in Singapore - common fruit bat, cave nectar bat and false vampire bat. Each group presented about their special bat once they were familiar with them-- where they lived, what they ate, and why we should protect them.

Later, Uncle Andrew, Auntie Irene and Auntie Teresa took everyone out into the garden for a bat roost and bat food hunt. Although we didn't find any bats roosting under the huge leaves of the Chinese Fan Palms at the Children's Garden, kids got to see a make-belief tent roost which Uncle Andrew simulated in class, by showing everyone how fruit bats bite through palm leaves causing them to droop all around them hence providing shelter from rain and strong sun. Uncle Andrew even made make-belief bats out of African Tulip seed pods to make the classroom tent roost look real!

Last but not least, everyone made a bat wall-hanging to bring back home.

Fruit bats presenting

Vampires presenting

Bats are cute and some live in caves

Bats are nocturnal and hang upside down while resting

Bananas are a favourite meal of fruit bats

Our make-belief classroom tent roost

Uncle Andrew teaching us about parts of a bat

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