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A Glossary of Terms used on the Bat atlas pages

Term Definition
Ambient Temperature the temperature of the surrounding air.
Biodiversity the variety of living organisms in an area. 
Calcar a cartilaginous spur that is attached to the heel bone and extends into the tail membrane. This structure is unique to bats. 
Echolocation an orientation system based on generating sounds and listening to their returning echoes to locate obstacles and prey. 
Fertilization the impregnation of the egg by the male sperm cell. 
Forage to hunt for food.
Gestation Period the length of the pregnancy; the time from fertilization to birth of the foetus. 
Gleaner a bat that can capture prey on the leaves and twigs of vegetation or on the ground. 
Hibernaculum a site where hibernation occurs (hibernacula).
Hibernation a state of lethargy characterized by a reduction in body temperature and metabolic rate. 
Kilohertz 1000 cycles per second; a unit for measuring the frequency of sound. 
Maternity Colony an aggregation of females and their young. 
Metabolic Rate a measure of the general activity level of an animal; free energy production per unit of body mass. 
Nocturnal active during the night. 
Ovulation maturation and release of the egg before fertilization. 
Parturition birth. 
Recurved curved or bent backwards. 
Roost a daytime retreat or night-time resting place. 
Rostrum the nasal area or the snout of a skull. 
Swarming behaviour associated with nocturnal flights that are made through potential hibernacula by aggregations of bats in late summer or fall.
Thermoregulation regulation of body temperature by conserving or releasing heat as required. 
Torpor a short-term (daily) state of inactivity achieved by lowering the body temperature and reducing the metabolic rate in order to conserve energy. 
Tragus a thin, cartilaginous structure attached to the base of the ear. This structure is unique to bats.
Ultrasonic sounds above the range of hearing of the human ear (normally above 20 kilohertz). 
Vespertilionid Bat a member of the family Vespertilionidae, a cosmopolitan family of bats with many species inhabiting temperate regions of the Old World and the New World. 
Volant capable of flying. 

Source: Bats of British Columbia by David Nagorsen and Mark Brigham © Royal BC Museum

Please cite these pages as:

Author, date, page title. In:   Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2023. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia []. Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Date Accessed]

© Copyright 2023 E-Fauna BC.