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  1. Bat Man

From the recording Songs From the Science Frontier

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This song was inspired by the work of Dr. Ron Van Den Bussche at the Oklahoma State University department of zoology. He really would like to be out in the field collecting specimens, but all the interesting questions about bat evolution can best be answered looking at patterns in their DNA.

Lyrics

There are books full of bats from all over this world
Eleven hundred species or so
They've been identified, named, described and preserved
But it's their history that we still don’t know
And though he'd love to go trapping in Mozambique
It really wouldn't bring back the knowledge we seek
So the bat man labors in his lab all day
Analyzing DNA

Cause he's a bat man
Yeah he's a bat man
Working on the mystery of life's history
He's a bat man

Bat bodies built with itty bitty brittle bones
Don't fossilize very well
And many kinds of bats look exactly alike
So just by peeping at em we can't tell
But deep in every cell there are molecular clues
A record of change that the bat man can use
When the bat man sees a difference in a couple of genes
He knows just what that means

Repeat Chorus

Some genes change every generation
Older genes show vary little variation
Genomes are like a kind of history book
The trick is learning where to look

Around the world thousands of biologists
Are working in a similar vane
Each one checking out a different niche
Every species under every domain
And with molecular clues new contributions are rife
To this planet sized puzzle we call the tree of life
And when we put it all together think of what that's worth
We'll know the history of life on Earth
Yeah we will, we'll know the history of life on Earth

Repeat Chorus