Bats: Superheroes of the Night

Journey deep into the realm of the most mysterious and misunderstood animal on our planet—Bats. Explore how bats benefit us, why they are endangered, and what we can do help save them. Live animals and interactive components reveal how we can make our own backyards a friendlier place for bats. In addition to seeing live the largest bat in the world, the Giant Flying Fox, visitors find out what a bat feels like, crawl through a cave, take Superhero bat selfies, and much more! BATS: Superheroes of the Night was created especially for the Institute of Science by the Organization for Bat Conservation. The exhibition uses a comic superhero theme to playfully demonstrate why bats are important, what is threatening them, and how kids and adults can help save these important pollinators, insect eaters, and forest regenerators. This all ages experience features bats from the Bat Zone. BATS: Superheroes of the Night runs through June 19, 2016.

Special Bat Events!

Own a Piece of Batman Movie History! Movie Memorabilia Auction Set for March

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on March 25 and was filmed just up the road from Cranbrook in 2014. During the filming, director Zack Snyder heard that bat populations are in trouble, and wanted to be a superhero to the bats himself. Zack contacted the Organization for Bat Conservation to find how the film could support the organization’s Save the Bats campaign. The result? More than 100 bat houses built out of the set by cast and crew to give bats safe and happy homes and to help raise funds for the campaign. Each of these uniquely decorated bat houses will go up for auction on Ebay starting March 11. Visit www.batconservation.org to preview the bat houses and learn more about the upcoming auction.  Bid to win for the bats, and to own a piece of movie history!

Superhero Sunday, March 20

1-4pm

Dress as your favorite Superhero and see comics come alive as the Institute of Science celebrates all things superhero inside and outside the museum on March 20 from 1 to 4pm. Start your visit by choosing sides and taking a selfie with Batman or Darth Vader to see who registers more Superhero selfie posts on Facebook. Then enter the realm of discovery and action to help save the bats through special activities. Learn to draw a superhero, create bat crafts to raise awareness about the threats to bats, or test your superhero knowledge in the Comic Quiz.  Outdoors, a walking adventure will reveal where bats live on Cranbrook’s campus and show you how to attract bats to your own back yard. Superhero Sunday activities are free with the purchase of a ticket to the Superheroes of the Night exhibition.

Coming soon...

Organization for Bat Conservation Director to Appear on Discovery Channel

Rob Mies, Executive Director of the Organization for Bat Conservation, traveled to Papa New Guinea in the fall to participate in an episode of the Discovery Channel’s Trailblazers program. Rob and other scientists and survivalists journeyed through one of the most unexplored and perilous areas of the world documenting their experiences as they encountered the extraordinary animals, plants and landscapes of this pristine wilderness. The program is tentatively scheduled to air in March. Check the Institute and Organization for Bat Conservation web and Facebook pages where updates will be posted as soon as they are available. 


Changing Exhibit Hall (in addition to museum admission when appropriate)


MEET OUR HEROES

Winged Cyclone:  The leader of the Bats is based on the world's largest bat, The Malayan Flying Fox. These amazing animals have an average wingspan that can stretch to nearly 5 ft long!  They call the countries of southeast Asia their home and spend their evenings in the search of tasty fruits.

The Organization for Bat Conservation cares for three Malayan Flying Foxes (Fred, Kamilah, and Tom) right on the grounds of the Cranbrook Institute of Science. You may have seen Kamilah on T.V. and at the White House!

New Dawn: The Bats' second-in-command is a rejuvenator as well as a friend to plants! Based on a Straw-colored Fruit Bat, New Dawn helps bring life back to forests by spreading the seeds of the various plants and fruits she eats!  Straw-colored Fruit Bats are common throughout central and sub-Saharan Africa.

The Organization for Bat Conservation has a colony of these cute, mid-sized bats on site at the Bat Zone. You can watch them anytime you want, completely free of charge by logging into OBC's batcams!

Dark Echo: The Bats junior crime fighter is a force to be reckoned with! Possessing powers of echolocation, no insect or pest can escape his grasp. All known bats in the United States are insect eaters, and Dark Echo is designed from a Pallid Bat, which lives throughout the southwest United States.

Chances are, if you or your family has a bat house up in your backyard, you'll find Dark Echo's inspiration, or a close relative, living there!

MEET THE VILLAINS

Lady Poison: The Cartel of Chaos'  femme fatale is deadly for a reason: within her backpack you'll find gallons of fatal pesticides just waiting to be used on all sorts of unsuspecting wildlife, not just bats.

In recent years, new light has been shed on the dangers that many pesticides pose to our food, nature, and us. Research is beginning to indicate how bad these chemicals are for bats, birds, bees and many other critical species. What's worse is that the more we use pesticides the more we become reliant on them. As bats and other insectivores die from their usage we need more harmful chemicals to keep the crop eating bugs at bay.  Need more proof? Look no further than the headlines this week, as bats were found to save farmers $1 Billion a year in natural pest control!

INVADER: There are few beings as terrible as the Cartel of Chaos' strong man, INVADER. He wants to wipe bats off the face Earth and with his dangerous White-nose Spores he's well equipped to do it.

INVADER was designed to highlight the invasive fungus that has been harming bats throughout North American since 2006. Dubbed White-nose Syndrome for the characteristic white fuzz that grows on bats while they hibernate, the fungus was thought to have come to North America from Europe.  Since then, an estimated 6 million bats have been killed by White-nose Syndrome.

Various government agencies and academic groups have been rushing to try and find a way to combat this horrific threat. For more information, you can visit www.whitenosesyndrome.org.

The Blight: This robotic monstrosity wants nothing more than to destroy, pillage, and ravage. His goal is to ensure no living thing, bat or otherwise, has a safe home or place to live.

The Blight embodies bats' biggest threat worldwide, habitat destruction. No matter the location, bat populations are being put under extreme stress by humans. Deforestation, pollution, and hunting are just a few activities that are putting bats in harm's way. Only by working together, will it be possible to defeat the supreme danger that the Blight poses!