By William Hay
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Additional info for Deformity: An Essay
Most temperate-zone bats give birth to only one young. Twins occur in a few species, and Eastern Red Bats frequently have quadruplets. Tropical species usually give birth to one baby at a time. Bats are exceptiona l in the strategies they have evolved to handle the timing of reproductive events. Hibernating temperate-zone bats usually mate during the fall. The 40 sperm is stored in the female, with fertilization of the egg by the sperm taking place in the spring. Others, such as the Straw-colored Flying Fox, can delay the implantation of a fertilized egg for three to five months .
The re a re, howeve r, a few public health p roblems associated with bats, including the occu r rence of rabies, although these p roblems a r e sometimes exagge rated by the p ress. Most of these p roblems a re easily avoided by N E V E R handling an unfamilia r bat and by not ente ring bat roosts without taking app rop riate p recautions. 5 pe rcent of all bats have rabies, a pe rcentage that is no highe r than that observed in most othe r mammals. Like othe r mammals, bats cannot ca r ry the vi rus without becoming sick and dying.
Species such as Gray Bats migrate fro m war m nursery caves, which are suited for the rapid growth of young, to cooler caves with stable winter te mperatures. These cooler caves are conducive to hibernation. The body te mperature, as wel l as breathing, metabolism, and b lood circulation of a hibernating bat, is reduced to mere survival leve ls. Bats prepare for hibernation, which may last for many months, by accu mulating body fat. They conse rve energy by entering torpor (a temporary state of reduced metabolic activity ) during the day and foraging at night.
Deformity: An Essay by William Hay