Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, February 05, 2007

Flying Foxes get electrocuted on wires.

The wave of Flying Foxes which has spread over the Southern Highlands in recent days has resulted in a spate of electrocutions on power lines.

Birds seldom get electrocuted on power lines. As they use only use their two feet for support, they can safely land on a single wire, without short-circuiting the power, and hence, they do not get "zapped".

Of course, in the case of bats, their front feet (what we call hands) act as wings. But as the silhouette photo of the wing (see below) shows, they really are shaped like hands, with long fingers.

But their "arms and fingers" (wings) are so extremely long, they easily can cross between different cables, and cause a short-circuit. Zap.

However, possums being four-footed creatures, tend to hold on with their back feet and reach out with their front feet simultaneously, and in so doing, tend to cross between different wires, and get themselves electrocuted. Smart possums learn to run along single wires, and they can do that quite safely.

Power-line workers know how to avoid electrocution. They can safely work on a single live power-line, as long as they are not earthed (in contact with the ground) or are not touching two different power lines. That is why they rely upon totally insulated frames, on the end of those "Cherry-pickers" on the back of special trucks, or else they work from fibre-glass ladders.

This dead Flying Fox was hung out on a wooden fence, to display the spread of its wings. The body is relatively small, but the neck and head is quite large. They obviously have great sight and sense of smell, for finding their foood at night.

Reports indicate that they are extremely smart animals. However, I do not know how that is assessed.

Here is a close-up of the very strong and short hind-legs of the Flying Fox, which they use for hanging upside down in trees. These toes are very strong, and have enormously powerful grasping "toe nails". When you think about it, these Bats hang upside down all day, so they need powerful grasping claws with which to hang on, while they sleep.

1 comment:

Joe said...

This is sad; however, this is one of the many consequences of modern civilization.