Royal Ontario Museum Bat Cave
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The Royal Ontario Museum Bat Cave is a gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum that presents wax sculptures of bats in their simulated natural habitat. Consisting of twenty species of bats, among a variety of invertebrates, the gallery allows visitors to learn about bats behaviour and biology, through engaging in various educational panels, videos and models.
It is currently located on the second level, of the Philosophers Walk Wing in the ROM’s Heritage Building.
The bat cave was originally built in the 1980s as a replica of the 3 km St. Clair Cave in Jamaica. In the early 2000s however, the Royal Ontario Museum received a grant to renovate the cave among two new Roman and Byzantine Galleries. Thus updated sound effects, dim lighting, and rock models were incorporated to make the cave appear more realistic. Today the exhibit stands at 1700 square feet. With over 300 new wax models of bats and bugs that are even more authentic than before, visitors now also have an opportunity to see bald pink baby bats, amidst an eerie dark backdrop that has been come to be known as the nursery cave.
Bat Cave Experience Areas
Explore the World of Bats
Prior to entering the mouth of the Bat Cave is a series of panels addressing various common questions and curiosities concerning bats and their natural habitat. Guests learn about how bats navigate in the dark, how they see, how they travel through the dark and if they are similar to humans. In addition guests learn about their current patterns of behaviour, eating habitats among many other things presented on in formats on the wall.
At the Cave Mouth there are a variety of other descriptions which historicize how the cave was modeled after the St. Clair Cave in Jamaica. The panel’s presents a detailed account of what the cave look, sounds and smells like. It informs the visitors of the kinds of insects and bats they would see if they were to visit the cave. There is also a Bat Cave Field Guide which helps visitors identify the six species of bats they may encounter in the cave.
Inside the Bat Cave
Within the bat cave lies a variety of bats, cockroaches and other invertebrates which simulate a realistic portrayal of the St. Clair Cave in Jamaica. There are currently the following areas in the cave:
- Fruit Bat Roosting Area
- The Grooming Area
- The Cavern: is described as a natural theatre within the Bat Cave where visitors can watch an audio visible presentation that elaborates on the specifics of the cave.
- The Bat Nursery
- The Bat Exodus
Events at the Royal Ontario Museum
- Bat Month: In March 2010, the Royal Ontario offered a variety of live bat demonstrations, costumes crafts and other educational activities to celebrate the reopening of the Bat Cave Exhibit. Presenters like Bill “Bat Boy” Scully, African Lion Safari, and Dr. Paul Faure of the McMaster Bat Lab all presented a variety of interactive and informational experiences.
- Food Studio Café: In partnership with the Food Studio Café, the Royal Ontario Museum offered a variety of bat themed meals such as “bat wings chicken wing special” to promote the new exhibit.
- Youth Patron’s Circles (YPC) also hosted their fifth annual fundraiser PROM v Noir at the exhibit in March 2010.
- "The Bat Cave". Royal Ontario Museum.
- "The Bat Cave". http://www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitions-galleries/galleries/natural-history/bat-cave. Royal Ontario Museum. Retrieved June 18, 2014. External link in
- Balkissoon, Denise. "The ROM reopens the Bat Cave". https://www.thestar.com/life/parent/2010/02/24/the_rom_reopens_the_bat_cave.html. Toronto Star. Retrieved June 18, 2014. External link in
- Towie, Brian (26 February 2010). "ROM's Revamped Bat Cave Shows Some Sympathy for the Devil". Torontoist. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "The Bat Cave is Back". http://www.rom.on.ca/en/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/the-bat-cave-is-back. Royal Ontario Museum. Retrieved June 18, 2014. External link in