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Bats of Arizona

Here are some ideas to incorporate the Bats of Arizona poster into your high school classroom. The appropriate standards are listed below each activity.


Research bat diversity. How many species of bats are there in North America? Worldwide? How does this compare to other mammals? In what parts of the world can bats be found? Which state has the most species? Which state has the least? Why? Where does Arizona rank?

  • Technology: Standard 5, Proficiency 2, Objective 1


Bats, like all living things, are named using binomial nomenclature. This means that their scientific name consists of two names, the genus and the species. Often these names are Latin or German descriptions of the animal. Sometimes, they are named after the location where the species was discovered or for the person who discovered them. Use the “Glossary of Scientific Names Given to Bats” to translate the names into descriptive characteristics. For example, we could change the cave myotis (Myotis velifer) into the “mouse-eared bat with a veiled face”. In addition to a scientific name, each bat is also given a common name like spotted bat. Why would we give an animal two names? What are the advantages of common and scientific names? Disadvantages?

  • Science: Strand 4, Concept 4, Objective 6

Endangered Species

Using the "Bats of the United States and Canada", make a pie chart showing the total number of bats compared to those that are endangered and those that are of special concern. What percentage of the bats is in need of protection? Do endangered bats appear to come from one family more than any other or are they fairly well distributed? Why? Identify bats found in Arizona and make a similar chart. How do the percentage of protected bats in Arizona compare to that of the U.S. and Canada?

  • Science: Strand 4, Concept 4, Objective 4


Bats have been a part of human mythology for thousands of years. Use the Internet to research some of the myths and legends about bats. Based on the stories you found, are bats portrayed positively or negatively? Are they supported by facts? If so, which ones? Select one of the stories you found that misrepresents bats and rewrite it so that it accurately depicts these animals.

  • Reading: Grade 11 - Strand 2, Concept 1, Objective 2
  • Reading: Grade 12 - Strand 2, Concept 1, Objective 2
  • Technology: Standard 5, Proficiency 2, Objective 1


Throughout the world, there are bats that can eat a variety of foods. In Arizona, there are bats that eat insects and bats that eat nectar. What adaptations would you expect a bat to have in order to catch insects? What adaptations would nectar-feeding ones need? Below is a list of adaptations. Organize them into groups based on whether they are most likely adaptations for insect or nectar feeders. When you are finished, try to identify the two nectar-feeding bats found in Arizona on the poster.

  • Short, broad wings and a large tail allow the bat to dart in and out of branches.
  • Long tongue
  • Wings that allow the bat to hover
  • Sophisticated echolocation abilities
  • Long, narrow nose and very small teeth
  • Science: Strand 4, Concept 4, Objective 3

Wild Kids

Check out the Wild Kids activity page focused on bats. Be sure to pick the appropriate grade level.

  • Science: Strand 4, Concept 4, Objective 6
  • Reading: Strand 1, Concept 6, Objective 5

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