Bat Silhouettes Featuring NaturePrint Paper
Bats are creatures of the night, the only mammal to fly, and most even use echolocation. To me that's some amazing adaptations. Bats have become synonymous with the spookiness of Halloween as trick-or-treaters head out at dusk you can see them zipping in the sky overhead.
Bats are extremely important for agricultural crops as night pollinators and pest control. Bats help disperse seeds and pollinate most of what fruits we enjoy, including chocolate! Consuming upto their weight in insects they protect crops so that farmers need not to use harmful pesticides on the foods we eat.
There are about 1,400 species of Bats making up 20% of all mammals worldwide. The smallest is the Bumblebee Bat, weighing as much as a penny; the largest is the Flying Fox with wing spans up to 6 feet.
Bats are the only mammal that can fly. A bat’s wing is actually a modified hand. The name of the mammal group that includes bats, its Order, is Chiroptera which literally means hand wing. The finger bones are much longer in proportion than ours, especially compared to the forearm, elbow and upper arm bones. A thin, double membrane of skin connects the long fingers with the rest of the arm and the bat’s body to create the flying surface.
A myth about bats is that they have poor eyesight. Their eyesight is really quite good. Bats produce echolocation by emitting high frequency sound pulses through their mouth or nose and listening to the echo. With this echo, the bat can determine the size, shape and texture of objects in its environment. Including the thickness of a strand of hair!
Bats are just amazing animals! If you have begun a bat study or are looking for a fun activity to do with NaturePrint Paper this is it!
What you need:
NaturePrint Paper (1-5 x 7 inch sheet)
Variety of Leaves
Clear Plastic Plate
Hydrogen Peroxide (optional)
First section 5 small pieces of poster tack and stick to the plastic plate. Tell your students to find 5 leaves that would make the composition of a bat's body with 2 wings, a body, and 2 short ears. With each leaf they will stick a piece of poster tack on the backside and position on the plastic plate. Be sure to not overlap excessively.
The next step is to remove a 5x7 inch NaturePrint Paper out of the light-blocking bag and with the dark blue side facing up place the entire plate over the paper and stand directly in sunlight. On a clear day it can change the color of the paper to white within 30-60 seconds. Be still and don't move the plate from its starting position during the sun exposure.
The Final step is making the Bat Silhouette permanent on the paper. Not doing this step will have your image fade back to the blue color. To do this place the paper into the shallow bowl with water and a splash (10mL) of Hydrogen Peroxide. The Hydrogen Peroxide results in a deeper blue contrast as it dries. This is optional. Just a quick dip into the water solution and out to dry.
There's a lot of Science occuring when you use the NaturePrint Paper activity. There are two chemical reactions at work, first with the sun exposure and secondly with its reaction with water. This process is similar to developing photographs.
NaturePrint Paper is stocked in the Science Shop. Find it available in the Power of Plant At Home Play Pak and as part as the DIY Sci Kit. Two options to making learning Science at Home special and educational!
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