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#259 Bulmer's Fruit Bat

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 51

I was going to paint a fish today, but as with the bee, I could not find even a written description of them. I may paint it tomorrow still, even without any idea what they look like. These bats did not have much description, but I did see a couple pictures that may have been them. One written description said they were mostly black, but none of the pictures I saw of them showed them as black, so I've done decided on a dark brown. None of the pictures I saw showed them up close so that I could tell what their face looks like, but I think I've captured them tolerably well. They do not have lower incisors and I've tried to sort of give them a bit of an "I forgot my lower dentures" look! One description I saw only said how much a single female weighed (1.3 pounds), where they lived, and that they are "probably an obligate frugivore". In other words, they don't even know for sure that they just eat fruit, though they do know the bats seem to like figs. They live in a cave and their numbers are unknown. The last time a survey was conducted there were fewer than 200 of them. There is no conservation effort or protected area in place for them sadly. Their discovery is interesting. The first time they were found was when an archaeologist discovered a fossil of theirs. For 14 years it was assumed they had been extinct for 10,000 years. Then an anthropologist was invited to go on a bat hunt. When the locals had killed a bunch of bats the anthropologist realized what they were. The bats were safe until locals were able to get shotguns and modern climbing equipment. Their numbers were shortly decimated, and we can only hope that they decide to protect the bats.

I'm such a doofus. I went to get my hearing checked today. I have constant very loud tinnitus which is annoying, but I feel my hearing has been going downhill more and more. I have also had well over 250 ear infections in my lifetime which I'm certain has damaged my ears. I had my tonsils out when I was 23 because of how many infections I kept getting. I do not recommend getting your tonsils out that late but it put a stop to the constant ear infections and I've only had a few since. The worst one I had was when I was a senior in high school. I was a cheerleader and we were at a basketball game with a loudspeaker. I was sitting in the front row, right by one of the speakers, next to my mom who literally yelled directly into my ear, and I couldn't hear anything. That doesn't help much if you are hoping to cheer with others as a group. That time the doctor told me the infection was meningitis and that I was very lucky. Anyway, I went to the hearing department in Costco, got to the store right in time but realized I'd left my membership card at home when I was filling out the paperwork. That meant I had to get a temporary card, which made me a little late. I got to the hearing department and realized I'd gone to the wrong Costco! Seriously people, if I hadn't married a computer science completely stable and organized personality type person I would be completely lost both figuratively and literally. I've called him more than once before we had GPS on our phones and told him what streets I saw and he told me where to go. Actually, even after getting GPS I still had to call him sometimes. I once got my phone so lost the GPS just drew squiggles on the screen and stopped talking to me until I managed to get myself un-lost. I had Hawaii Twin with me that time and we were laughing so much because it was incredibly ridiculous. Anyway, I have a new appointment tomorrow for the Costco I went to today. It is at 10 in the morning, I warned them I'm more cheerful as the day progresses or it would have been really early! It will be interesting to see what they say.

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