How far can the lesser long-nosed bat fly? In this clip from PBS’ Nature: The Bat Man of Mexico, Professor Rodrigo Medellín finds out by making their poop glow.
Medellín covers bats with harmless UV dust as David Attenborough narrates. When the bats lick it off and digest it, the dust will pass through their bodies, making their droppings fluoresce under ultraviolet light.
With UV torches (flashlights) in hand, Medellín ventures into the caves of Calakmul to look for evidence—blue poop—that can establish how far the bats have flown. The information can help protect bat populations by guiding conservation policies across Mexico.
From the episode, which premieres June 30, 2021:
Since ecologist Rodrigo Medellin first kept bats in his bathroom as a child, he has dedicated his life to saving them. Now Mexico’s most famous export, tequila, is at stake. Medellin’s beloved lesser long-nosed bat is crucial to the liquor – it pollinates the plants the drink is made from. To save these bats from extinction, Medellin must track the bats’ epic migration across Mexico, braving hurricanes, snakes and seas of cockroaches.
Watch these bat, uv light, and poop videos next:
• The Bat Volcano of Calakmul, Mexico
• Filming bats with slow motion & thermal cameras
• The Tube-Lipped Nectar Bat has a crazy-long tongue
• True or Poo? A trivia game show with Tumble Science
• The World’s First Poo Museum
• Scorpions of the Bay Area
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