Bats in Peabody Hall: Final 1

This topic submitted by Nicole Boyer, Nicole Brown, Tara Wallach, Megan Gilligan, Christina Synowiec, Mike Hadgis ( at 4:34 PM on 12/6/02. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Section: Nicholson

Natural Systems 1 Fall, 2002 -Western Program-Miami University


The purpose of our lab is to find bats in Peabody Hall. We want to find out how many live there and observe and record their activities. Our plan is discover exactly how many bats live in Peabody and pinpoint the species that they are. In order to differentiate between each bat we intend on naming each one based on its identity. We predict that there are three bats in Peabody all of the same species, Brown bats.
We will distribute surveys to residents of Peabody and the surrounding area, as well as staff in order to determine the location, number, and species of bats living in Peabody and the surrounding area. This data will then be compiled into analytical graphs in order to compare and contrast our findings.
This research interests our group because its has an impact on our everyday life and environment. Since the bats live in the same hall as many of us we are naturally curious. We would also like research what it is that attracts bats to Western Campus.
The big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus belongs to the kingdom Animalia. More specifically, it belongs to the Chiroptera, which means "hand-wing." The Brown bat is most commonly found in Ohio. It weighs 11-17 grams and has a wing span of 325-350 mm. It's color is chestnut brown and is often characterized by it's long, silky fur. It's face has lighter, shorter, more delicate fur. The brown bat can also be detected by a small flap of skin called the tragus that is found at the base of both broad, short ears. This exists because of brown bat tends to lean forward. The brown bat also has a total of 32 teeth and broad nasal bones.
The brown bat is one of the most widely distributed bats in the United States. It can be found in Canada all the way stretching into South America and the Caribbean islands. However, these mammals are most abundant in northeastern Ohio in the summer. This is because the big brown bat hibernates. A few members of this species migrate south to hibernate in Kentucky caves. Big brown bats prefer to hibernate in areas with exposure to air currents, low humidity, and varying temperatures. This includes spaces between roofs, between walls in homes, unused chimneys, barns, and doghouses. Other common places are under leaves, behind loose bark, and in hollow trees. The most heavily populated areas are in caves. Hibernation occurs in late fall. In this period, their metabolisms slow down and their activity is highly reduced. Big brown bats hibernate in groups of five o six. Because of their low tolerance to heat, the big brown bat cannot survive in temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius.
Big brown bats usually mate in April, however some do so in autumn or winter. The young are usually born in early June. Big brown bats eat insects are their main source of nutrition. Mothes, ground beetles, stink bugs, and sometimes grasshoppers are also common prey. To consume their food, the bat catches their prey and then brings it back to the rooting site to eat it. On average, bats catch up to 600 insects per hour. Big brown bats use a sophisticated sonar system to find their prey and navigate through the dark. This is known because of their swift ability to fly and hunt.
Big brown bats are not a threat to humans and should not be feared. Humans only complaints about these bats in their constant scratching noises as they move about their roost in home attics and between walls. Their feces also smell like ammonia. Many humans believe bats carry rabies, but less than half one percent and only ten people from Canada and the United States have actually acquired this disease form them.


We are going to base our research tables on data that was compiled by researchers in Sao Paulo, for they observed bats that were in the surrounding areas and recorded the times of sightings and species.
Our research relates to the general well being of all residents living in and around Peabody Hall, for bats have been known to carry disease, as we found in research regarding the transmission of rabies through animals. They are also living in an environment that is not within its natural, or expected, habitat. By posting our results we hope to inform residents about the dangers of bats, and discourage them from allowing the bats to enter Peabody Hall.

Material and methods:

As we stated in the introduction, all our data is going to come from questionnaires and interviews with residents and staff. The study will require research on bats, including images and general information that will assist us in identifying the species.
The students and staff of Western campus will a large part in our lab. They will assist us in collecting data by providing their, and two other persons’, observations of bats. They will be looking for the number of bats, the type of bats, and the hours of bat activity.
This is an example of the sign we will hang in Peabody Hall for the residents to fill out when they sight bats. We will place this sign around the hall, near entrances, in the elevator, and beside the doorways to the stairwell. This way we can utilize the observations of the rest of the class, as well as other Western students and faculty

Name and Phone Number Time of Sighting Location of Sighting

Along with the tables, a map of Peabody and the immediate area will assist us in recording where the sightings have taken place.

Results and Data:

The main data we will be collecting during our observations of the bats will be:
1) Type of Bat Species
2) Time of Sighting
3) # Of Bats Found

Type of Bat Species Time of Sighting # Of Bats Found

With these three main data fields we will be able to analyze our data using tables, graphs, and charts etc.

Some main data analysis will be:
1) Histogram of the various surveys
2) Table of our data analysis for each field
3)Charts that display the diversity of the Bats species found in Peabody Hall.
4) Histogram of the hours of the night, recording at which time was the most popular sighting time

By analyzing our data with tables, charts, and graphs we will be able to come up with the best conclusion of our data. These are just some of our ideas on how to analyze our data and they are subject to change during the experiment.


From interviews and observations of outside sources, we have compiled some data trust far in our lab. The first sighting was by Amy Heeter on the front porch of Peabody Hall. The bat was seen by one of the lights, around ten o'clock at night. One resident, Alex, from third floor often sees the bats swarming around the smoke stacks behind Peabody Hall. Jeff and Zane, also residents from the third floor, had an encounter with a bat by the front handicap door. The bat flew into Peabody while the door was opened, so they propped it open to allow the bat to leave. Three other people have sighted bats surrounding the lights outside of Peabody Hall. Rob Macgorien, from Mary Lion Hall, spotted a bat outside the chapel area.
The charts we distributed for fellow classmates to fill out yielded beneficial data for our experiment. Of the 25 charts we handed out, we received 12 back, this caused us to have to go out and make more observations and obtain immediate responses instead of waiting. When we had finished questioning people we had a total of 100 responses, we felt this was a sufficient representation of the population on Western Campus. Our findings have been put into bar graphs according to bat locations, time of sightings, and peak sighting hours.

Discussion and Conclusion:

We have to take in consideration the possibility that bats live within Peabody, but since we assume they live in the attic we would be unable to see them. Also because the bat sightings were located around Peabody we can assume that they inhabit the surrounding areas and could possibly come to Peabody for food. The bugs that swarm around the light fixtures can easily attract a hungry bat. Since bats emerge at night, all the sightings occurred from 5pm to 1pm, where visibility is limited and other bats could have been missed. Our bat experiment directly relates to the bug groups, for we assume that it’s the bugs that attract the bats to Peabody. We wonder if we had been able to go into the attic, if we would have been able to see where they reside. For further research we would look at specific bats attracted to the area and why, as well as if there are seasonal differences in bat populations.

Literature Cited:

The Nature Conservancy made a deal with forest-products companies to save the habitats of endangered bats.
Pistorius, Alan. “Forever Protected”. Harriowsmith County Life. March/ April 1994: Pages 28-35. October 1, 2002 .

Biologist Bruce Miller has been using an Anabat detector to identify species of bats in certain locations through their echolocation noises.
Guynup, Sharon. “The Bat Detectives”. Wildlife Conservation. March/ April 2000: Pages 28-35. October 1, 2002 .

Due to false tales and improper information bats are being killed off and run out of their habitats by the human population.
Toops, Connie. “Denizens of the Dark”. National Parks. March/ April 1995: Pages 32-37. October 1, 2002 .

Bats hibernate for three to four months out of the year, which makes it considered as a “true” hibernator.
Dahl, Christie. “Sleeping In”. Wyoming Wildlife. January 1995: Pages 38-43. October 1, 2002 .

Merlin Tuttle has changed the public perception of bats from negative to positive.
Gannon, Robert. “Batman!”. Popluar Science. November 1996: Pages 52-58. October 1, 2002 .

At The Ohio State University, research has shown that computer technology can help estimate the number of bats that reside in an area by recording their calls.
Wagner, Holly. “Researchers Use ‘Voice Recognition’ Program to Count Bats”. The Ohio State University. October 29, 1999. The Ohio State University. October 1, 2002 .

The Ozark big-eared bat, one of the most endangered species of bats in the country, is beneficial to humans. However, humans are the biggest threat to this mammal’s existence.
Talley, Jennel. “This Bat is all Ears”. National Parks Volume 76. Issue 7/8 (September/ October 2002): Page 42. October 1, 2002 <>.

Underground mines and caves are being renovated to accommodate the bat populations that are being forced to leave their other habitats.
Efron, Sarah. “BAT HOTELS”. Canadian Geographic Volume 122. Issue 5 (September/ October 2002): Page 31. October 1, 2002 .

Doppler radars are allowing scientists to observe the feeding habits of bats, and the locations of the feedings without having to intrude on the process.
McCraken, Gary F., Westbrook, John K. “Bat Patrol”. National Geographic Volume 201. Issue 4 (April 2002): Page 114. October 1, 2002 .

On March 31, 2002, a California man died from a rabies virus transferred from a Mexican free-tailed bat.
“Human Rabies-California, 2002”. MMWR: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report Volume 51. Issue 31 (August 2002): Page 686. October 1, 2002 .

Bats in the metropolitan region of Sčo Paulo have been identified with having rabies, transmitting other types of diseases, and causing overall problems for the human population.
Silva, Miriam M. S. “Bats from the Metropolitan Region of Sčo Paulo, Southeastern Brazil”. Chiroptera Neotropical Volume 2. Issue 1:Pages 39-41. October 1, 2002 .

Research at the University of Arizona shows that people need to be educated about bats, otherwise they will be killed off.
Education Needs to Protect Bats. August 3, 2002. Unversity of Arizona. October 1, 2002 <>.

A general description is given of the physical characteristics, habitats, and major types of bats in North America.
Myers, Philip. Order Chiroptera. July 23, 1997. University of Michigan. October 1, 2002 .

General information is provided on the Brown Bat, eptesicus fuscus, including distinguishing physical characteristics, distribution within the U.S., habitats, reproduction, diet, and human interaction.
Sandru, Alexis. Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus). October 1, 2002 .

Details the physical characteristics of bats and their uses, as well as their reproductive and grooming behaviors
Gogolin, Katie. Chitoptera. October 1, 2002 .

“Bat Reproduction”. 17 September 2002 .

Crawford, Stanton C. “Prisioners of Darkness”. Scientific Monthly Volume 42. Issue 6 (June 1936): Page 555. 18 September 2002 .

Bats, Jaguar Paw Resort. August 5, 2000. Jaguar Paw. 18 September 2002 .

More general information on bats including their range and habitats, physical descriptions, behaviors, reproduction and growth, as well as status today.
Gordon, David George. "Bat". Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. 6 sects. Redmond: Microsoft, 2001.

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