The ingenious priest who discovered how bats 'see' in the dark


SPL; Glyn Thomas/Alamy LAZZARO SPALLANZANI watched by the flickering light of a single candle as a bat flew hither and yon around his simple room in Reggio nell’Emilia, Italy. Then he made a remarkable observation: when he blew out the candle, the bat’s flight was unaffected. It flew in total darkness as if it were light! Spallanzani, an ordained Catholic priest and tireless, self-taught scientist, knew this because he had tied some string around one of the bat’s bony ankles. Holding tightly to it like a strange kite,
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