Exhibition „Terribly Adorable Bats”

Exhibition “Terribly Adorable Bats” opens at the Estonian Museum of Natural History on the 13th of February. The exhibition introduces its visitors the mysterious lives of bats. Come and walk through the night forest, observe a bat feeding by a lake, visit a winter cave from the comfort of the warm museum and fly with a bat through the summer night.

Photo: Lennart Lennuk

There is plenty of mystery surrounding the Estonia's 2020 animal of the year. They are like shadows of the night who silently whiz through the air and occasionally flicker against the night sky.  They keep surprising even the researchers who have been studying them for decades. So who are these night creatures?

The exhibition covers many topics, like their evolution and physiological characteristics, species diversity, diet, migration, importance, conservation and protection, myths, folklore and pop-culture. How did these creatures evolve? Why do they hang upside down? Why are they able to do that? What do they eat? Why have they chosen „the night shift“? How have they adapted to living in the dark? Why you should never disturb hibernating bats? Why is it important to protect them? You will find the answers to these and many other interesting questions at the exhibition!

There are plenty of exhibits at the exhibition hall to help you learn about the lives of bats. For example, you can transform yourself into a bat: hang and search for insects, compare your hand against a bat’s forelimb, experience how the bats hear the world, sneak into a crevice in a cave and experience for yourself what it feels like to hibernate. A part of the exhibition is a virtual reality adventure, which takes you on a flight together with a bat across an autumnal landscape. The adventure ends with hibernation preparations.

Photos: Lennart Lennuk

Another possibility is to become a bat researcher: challenge yourself to identify different species, search for bats in a dark cave with the help of a torch, touch and compare hibernating and awake bats, peek into a tree hallow where bats sleep during the daytime and glance into a bat colony who resides in a wall in an old house.

The exhibition hall also houses the only bat cave in Estonia, which is open to all visitors who are interested in studying bats!

The exhibition "Terribly Adorable Bats" is open until 30th of September 2021.

Photo: Lennart Lennuk

Curators: Lennart Lennuk, Ulla Männi
Team: Laura Pärtel, Sander Olo and other specialists from the Estonian Museum of Natural History
Design, production, installation and lighting: Motor Agency
Interior design: Liina Kittask (KOKO arhitektid/Motor Agency) 
Graphic design: Teele Strauss (Motor Agency)
Animation: FrostFX
Stuffed animals and waxworks: Pelle Nugis
Drawings: Gundega Kampe-Pērsone
Text and sound: Lennart Lennuk
Editor: Sigrid Ots
Text translation: Luisa Translation Agency
Consultants: Oliver Kalda, Rauno Kalda
Educational program: Marko Valker (Naaskelnokk company)
Acknowledgments: we sincerely thank Ekke Västrik, Ethel Tamm, Elo Raspel, Jukka-Pekka Jäppinen, Lauri Klein, Lauri Lutsar, Maili Metssalu, Matti Masing, Sten-Olle Moldau, Renno Reinurm, Viesturs Vintulis, Estonian Fund of Nature

© 2017-2018 Estonian Fund for Nature, "Improving the Pond Bat (Myotis dasycneme) habitats in Estonia" project. All rights reserved. Project is funded by EU LIFE Programme.