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Gimme Shelter

October 27, 2017

Gimme Shelter

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Eric Januszkiewicz Eric Januszkiewicz

It isn’t hard to spot wildlife in the Costa Rican rainforest. However, sometimes you have to know what to look for if you want to see a particular species.

I learned about tent-making bats (Uroderma bilobatum) prior to my trip so I knew what to keep my eye out for if I wanted to see one. Every hike, I made sure to look for Heliconia leaves that appeared to be wilted over because they might be the shelter for one of these fascinating little creatures.

For days, I found nothing but various insects huddled in the creases of bent Heliconias. It became so routine checking under these leaves and seeing nothing that I really didn’t expect to see anything more, but I had to try. To my astonishment, after looking under countless leaves, I finally found a tent-making bat peacefully suspended by its feet. It didn’t appear disturbed by my presence and let me take a couple shots of it.

Finding that one bat made all of my efforts worth it in the end.

EDITOR’S NOTE: October 24-31 marks Bat Week, an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature. For more information, go to batweek.org.


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