Dark, dank and secluded, the Gomantong Cave is a four-star hotel for bats.

Dark, dank and secluded, the Gomantong Cave is a four-star hotel for bats. / Charles Ryan

We are marking a milestone, 50 years of NPR, with a look back at stories from the archive.

It has long been known that bats locate their prey by sending out sounds and then listening to the echoes. Research published, in the latest issue of the journal Nature, suggests that this natural sonar is extremely sophisticated. It now seems that bats use sound waves to construct vivid mental images of the world around them.

From All Things Considered (August 11, 1993)

America's 44 species of bats are losing large caves, their traditional hibernation spots, to recreational spelunkers and tourists. But hundreds of thousands of bats have taken over abandoned copper mines in northern Michigan.

In the first of two parts of the National Geographic Radio Expedition series, NPR's Christopher Joyce follows biologists deep into the earth in search of these bat sanctuaries.

From Morning Edition (June 5, 2000)

The second part of the National Geographic Radio Expedition Series, NPR's Christopher Joyce visits an abandoned mine in Michigan's upper peninsula, where thousands of bats live. Biologists and mine historians have united to protect the mines, which provide the bats a safe habitat in which to hibernate.

From Morning Edition (June 6, 2000)

Bats, birds and tourists love a good cave. And so do viruses. Scientists say this mixture could trigger a deadly outbreak.

From Morning Edition (February 21, 2017)

Common vampire bats might drink the blood of their prey, but it turns out that these fearsome beasts can be warm and fuzzy when it comes to their fellow bats.

From All Things Considered (October 21, 2019)

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