Monday, August 8, 2011

The Old Tunnel

When we first heard of going to the Old Train Tunnel to view the bats emerging, we envisioned being in a remote area hiking through weeds in the dark down to a train tunnel in a hollow. We were pleased to find that the tunnel that has been inactive since the 1940s is now managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Daily viewings are available and a nice presentation about bats is given prior to their emergence. The tunnel is currently housing around two million bats, but at times goes as high as four million.

Here's some bat information we learned:
1. The Mexican Free-tailed bats are also called Brazilian Free-tailed bats.
2. Most bats have a flap type tail, but the free-tailed bats actually have a narrow rounded tail that protrudes from the flap.
3. Different species of bats will live in the same cave, but they each have their own area.
4. Mother bats find their own young to feed, even in caves of millions!
5. Bats in Texas are born in March and are ready to fly by July.
6. Some caves are maternity caves and some are not.
7. Bats eat their weight in insects nightly!
8. Bats can fly 60 miles an hour.