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Brazillian Free-Tailed Bat

Brazillian free-tailed bat
J. N. Stuart
/
Flickr
Brazillian free-tailed bat

The Mexican free-tailed bat or Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) is a medium-sized bat native to the Americas, regarded as one of the most abundant mammals in North America. Its proclivity towards roosting in huge numbers at relatively few locations makes it vulnerable to habitat destruction in spite of its abundance. It has been claimed to have the fastest horizontal speed (as opposed to stoop diving speed) of any animal, reaching top ground speeds over 101 mph (162 km/h); its actual air speed has not been measured. The Texas Legislature designated the Mexican free-tailed bat the state mammal (flying) in 1995.

Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.