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View count:35,641
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Duration:09:10
Uploaded:2014-11-05
Last sync:2019-06-12 18:10
Watch Pt. I here: http://youtu.be/XxhKUP9Ixco

This is the 2nd installment in a 2-part series of highlights from our expedition deep into the bat caves of Kenya!

Video created by:

Emily Graslie: Writer, host
Greg Mercer and Emily Ward: Field Museum Media Producers

Expedition team:

Dr. Bruce Patterson: MacArthur Curator of Mammals, The Field Museum
Dr. Paul W. Webala: Head of the Department of Natural Resources at Karatina University, Kenya; Field Museum Research Associate
Michael C. Bartonjo: Student at Moi University, Kenya
Sintoyia Taiti: Kenya Wildlife Service Ranger
Daniel Kyenze: Kenya Wildlife Service Driver
Aziza Zuhura: Database Technician and Preparator, National Museums of Kenya

With support from:
The Field Museum
Chicago, Illinois

Scientific research and equipment funded by:
JRS Biodiversity Foundation and Bud and Onnolee Trapp

-Deep- thanks to Tony Chu, Martina Šafusová, Barbara Velázquez, and Seth Bergenholtz for translating! Get it? 'Cause caves are deep. Eh? No? Okay.

(Intro)

(Car rumbling, acoustic guitar)

 Up Close with a Bat Colony


(Loud Bat chatter)

Emily G: There are so many bats in here. This cave is just teeming.
You don't want to touch anything in here, because everything is just covered in a layer of guano.  It's hot. Everybody's sweating, and there are insects that are attracted to the light that come and get in your mouth, you don't really know whether to breathe out of your mouth or your nose. I should have brought, like, a face mask.
They're Amazing. How many do you think are in this cave?

Bruce: I haven't gotten a good sense, but thousands for sure.
And it has such a beautiful design on the back. Most bats are sort of monochrome because color doesn't mean much in the night but these are very highly social as you can see.
I think you probably want to have the light on this.

Emily: Alright, I think I got one on my leg.

Greg: Hey, something's on me.

Look at 'em go.

Emily: Oh god. Look at them go.

Greg: They're coming right at me.

(Laughter)

Emily: Yeah, I definitely had one going up my leg.
Do you have one on you?

Greg: Oh, I've got like three on me.

Emily: Hahaha, they're just crawling up you guys.

Male voice: Don't worry, they won't bite, they're just finding their way around.

Emily: Are you filming that?

Greg: Oh my god, I got one on my face!

(Laughter)

Emily: Oh god!

(Laughter)

Greg: That's awesome. That's amazing.

Emily: It's not a field expedition until your cameraman gets covered in bats.

Greg: I'm staying with the shot!

(Laughter)

Bruce: Alright! We've done what we can here.

 Recording Bat Calls


Emily: That was fun.

Bruce: Oh?

EG: Yeah.

Bruce: We need to finish this by flying the Otomops.

Paul: Yeah.

Bruce: They can just fly straight back to bed. You can get your calls.

Emily: You're gonna release them?

Paul: Yeah, yeah.

Emily: You just follow it?

Male voice: Yeah. So when it's coming back, you see if it's coming back and you just point the microphone.

Bruce: That's a directional microphone.

Male voice: There's a microphone there, see?

Emily: Yeah.

Bruce: Ready?

Emily: I'm ready.

(Bat chattering)

Paul: Oh, it's turning back, it's turning back!

Emily: Nope.

Bruce: Check out the lips on this. The hair on the inside of the lips.

Emily: Woah! Yeah. They're beautiful.

Bruce: They are. Ready?

Paul: Yeah

Bruce: Here we go.

(Bat chatters)

Emily: Yeah.

(Bat chatters)

(Laughing)

(Bat chirp)

Bruce: Ready?

Paul: Yes.

Emily: Oh, look at him run. All that fussing for nothing.

Bruce: Let me go, let me go, let me go.

Emily: Let me go let me go. No, he's just gonna hang there.

 Lion Hill Cave: Looking for Other Bat Species


Bruce: Am I above the entrance?

Paul: (indiscernible on radio)

Bruce: We have some rock overhangs here that are used by big four-footed creatures as an overnight or diurnal hiding place but the bats are in another tunnel just around the corner here. Smell the guano?

Emily: Yeah.

Bruce: It's the smell of prosperity for this project.

Ward: Is this the entrance right here?

Bruce: Right.

Emily: Oh, down here?

Bruce: Yep.

Emily: Oh wow. That is pretty narrow.

Greg: OK. Cool, so I'm going to follow you in.

Bruce: Yep.

Greg: Alright, and we'll see you all after.

Emily: Alright! Good luck!

(Bat chattering)

Bruce: Nycteris! We were telling you about the slit-faced bats. What a beauty! Look at this size of those ears. What a cool bat.
OK, these guys have gotten wise to us and have moved into the deepest part of the cave, where we can't go, so I think our work here is done.

Greg: Thank you.

Paul: Don't be caught, please, in the net.

Emily: How is it?

Greg: Great.

Emily: Oh man.

Paul: There's no air inside there.

Emily: Oh, you smell great.

Greg: Am I caught on something?

Emily: Mm, yeah.

Greg: My god.

Ward: You want to tell me how you're feeling right now?

Emily: What happened?

Greg: Yeah. We had a really successful session, shooting in a pretty confined space. At one point I marched forward on my knees to get a close-up of - what bat was it, Bruce?

Bruce: It was Nycteris, a slit-faced bat.

Greg: Slit-faced bat. So excited by the prospect of getting a close-up. I kicked up just this cloud of guano and urine and dust. It kind of overtook both of us. And, uh, yeah, we took some down.

Ward: Is that what's going on with your...

Greg: Through the nose, in the mouth, yeah.

Emily: In your teeth?

Ward: ...hands and sleeves there?

Greg: Yeah. I think that's what's happening right there.

(acoustic guitar music over slideshow and credits)

(outro music plays)