Wild Photo of Bat Covered in Pollen Proves Why They’re the ‘Perfect Pollinator’

by Lauren Boisvert
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(Photo by Rolf Nussbaumer/Getty Images)

The US Fish and Wildlife Service shared a photo of a lesser long-nosed bat on Friday, but not just any lesser long-nosed bat. This one was pastel yellow. Why, you ask? They’re they perfect pollinators, that’s why.

The bat in question was actually covered in yellow pollen. The USFWS then used some clever movie quotes to introduce us all to this magnificent animal.

“Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed,” the department began their Facebook post, quoting Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. “Ok, but what about pastel yellow?!” they continued. “Move aside, Elle, this lesser long-nosed bat may be onto something. But also, this bat isn’t normally this color; it’s actually covered in pollen!”

The department went on to explain that these animals are perfect pollinators because they pick up so much pollen while they drink nectar. In the photo, the bat is completely covered in yellow pollen all over its body.

“An unsung hero of fragile desert ecosystems,” the department wrote, “lesser long-nosed bats pick up tons of pollen while drinking nectar out of blooming cacti and agave flowers. One could say they’re the perfect pollinator, and YES this is one of our favorite bat appreciation photos we share every year.”

Photographer Captures Images of Huge Bat Colony Swarming From Colorado Mine

Recently, a photographer shared some photos and information on the huge bat colony that lives in the Orient Mine in Colorado. The defunct mine is home to about 250,000 Brazilian free-tailed bats, one of the largest colonies in the world. It’s definitely the largest in Colorado.

This colony is made up mostly of male bats, making it a bachelor colony. They spend their summers in Colorado, then migrate to Mexico, Central America, and South America in the winter. The Colorado Department of Fish and Wildlife monitors the well-being and behavior of the colony, which includes other species besides the free-tails.

The Orient Mine was the leading producer of iron ore in the area from 1880 through 1932. It closed that year, and people moved away from the city. With the mine cleared out, the bats moved in. In 1967, they swarmed the old mine and set up shop. Since then, visitors can witness the bats flying around at nearly 60 mph as they hunt for their nightly meals.

Orient Mine has been considered a Colorado Natural Area and is a dedicated Watchable Wildlife site. It is located in the San Luis Valley, where the bats are extremely beneficial to the area’s biodiversity. They help control the insect population, for one, so it doesn’t get out of control. Additionally, they control the mosquitos around the nearby hot springs, resulting in a better experience for visitors.

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