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The Case of the Disappearing Bats



The Case of the Disappearing Bats
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.38

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    affliction, pipistrelle, sanitary, unanswered, worthless, long-eared, small-footed, upstate, currently, prior, mines, deplete, knowing, collapse, strategy, reside
     content words:    New York, When Mark, Environmental Conservation


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The Case of the Disappearing Bats
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Mark and his father have a hobby. They like to explore caves where they live in upstate New York. Mark assumed this year would be no different. However, that was not to be the case.
 
2     Mark's father explained that there was an issue with the bats that normally hibernate in some of the caves. Scientists had issued warnings to the public in general, and especially to hikers, photographers, and spelunkers, about entering mines and caves. When Mark complained that he couldn't understand what the problem was, Mark's father explained that numerous bats had disappeared. Without knowing all the details, scientists felt it was safer for both the public and the bats if people keep away. In fact, biologists are even entering the habitats of the bats wearing respirators and sanitary clothing just in case the disease is spread by people. Their procedures are protection for the scientists and bats.
 
3     Mark couldn't understand what the concern would be about bats near his residence. Most people cringe when they hear that Mark and his dad would go anywhere bats reside. Mark and his father understand the importance of bats in the ecosystem. In some people's minds, bats are ugly, frightful, and worthless. Mark knows better. Did you know that one bat can eat 3,000 flying insects each summer night? Many of these insects are agricultural pests that no other animal consumes.

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Extended Activities:

1.  Create a poster about the characteristics of bats.

2.  Research colony collapse disorder. Compare/contrast it to white nose syndrome in bats.

3.  Create a 3-D model of a bat's habitat.

4.  Draw a diagram of a bat's food chain.

5.  Find out why a bat is a mammal and not a bird.



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