Smithsonian Visits the Bats of Panama

Friday, October 4th, 2019

There is a 600-acre patch of forest in Panama where 72 species of bats co-exist – more than in the whole of Europe or the USA. Biologists are perplexed as to how this can be possible. So many species competing – and thriving – in such a small area is extraordinary.

German scientist Elisabeth Kalko spent over 10 years working in the dark on Barro Colorado Island. She gathered a group of the world’s most adventurous and daring women scientists: the Batwomen of Panama. They live and work at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute at Gatun Lake in the middle of the Panama Canal, determined in their quest to solve this bat mystery. Screening at 9pm on October 9th, Batwomen Of Panama captures highs and lows of research life and the scientists’ journey through frustration to the truth, combined with startling and exquisite footage of the bats in action.


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