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BATS.   103

 

lie down in, no roosts to sit on, then the matter of caring for their young becomes a curious problem. I will try to explain : Two are generally born at a birth ; they are very small, help-less creatures. The mother places them at her breasts, and they cling to her hair with the hinder claws and thumb hooks, and there they remain till they are able to fly. By some naturalists it is stated that the male bats assist in carrying the young, but this is very likely a mistake, as they could not feed them. Some tropical bats are almost without hair, but they have pockets or pouches in which the young are carried, as they could not cling to them. The next time one of my readers runs screaming away from one of our harmless little bats let her take a second thought of this tiny fellow-creature, so fearfully and wonderfully made, so richly endowed with motherly feeling, so tenderly cared for by a Providence that overlooks no living thing, and marks a sparrow's fall or a planet's birth. Much more than I have set down is to be learned of the habits of these animals.

They are not at all related to mice. Their teeth are near to the moles. For a very long time they have been in the world. Their fossil remains are found in rocks whose origin was


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