When the bat is alive, it doesn’t look like a bat.
In fact, the bat’s skin is mostly wood and the wing-like, wing-shaped tips are more akin to the shape of a bat’s tail.
This makes it difficult to recognize the creature from the ground.
“You can actually see how long they are,” says Mike Smith, an expert on bats and conservation at the Smithsonian Institution.
“There’s a very noticeable difference in the bat from an animal that is standing.”
To capture the bat, Smith and his colleagues used a robotic arm to attach a GoPro camera to the head of a composite wood bat.
The bat’s wings, arms, and legs were then attached to a large rubber hose.
Then, using a computer program, the researchers recorded footage of the composite wood’s movements.
Then they cut the bat with a pair of scissors and placed it into a bag.
The composite wood was then put back into the bag, along with the rubber hose, the camera, and the bat.
“I can say with 100 percent certainty that this is not a natural, living creature,” Smith says.
Smith and other scientists say the video is an important step in conserving composite wood.
The bats are an important part of the ecosystem in Arizona, and they are often the only animals that have been studied for their health and appearance.
But the bats have been under threat for years, due to habitat loss, logging, and poaching.
In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared them critically endangered, and it’s unclear if they will be protected from extinction in the near future.
Now, Smith says the composite bat’s survival in Arizona depends on the success of the video.
“We’re hoping that this will really spur the research that is needed to find ways to help them thrive,” he says.
The researchers are planning to continue their research with other bats and composite wood in the Arizona desert, and are also working with Arizona Wildlife Resources Department to learn more about how the bat lives.
“This is a beautiful and rare bat,” Smith adds.
“And now, we just have to wait and see how this story unfolds.”