In Ed Yong’s Phenomena post on eastern sucker-footed bats, Paul Racey, who, from what we can tell, is a distinguished and delightful scientist type, sounds like a pick-up artist who’s come back to a cold, empty bed on one Saturday night too many:
There have to be females. It’s just that we can’t find them, and it’s very embarrassing.
Is it reassuring to know that he’s talking about bats? Yeah, it really is — it’s not that we aren’t familiar with the type of guy who would relentlessly pursue the female members of a single species for six years, even after having so little success, but we prefer when it happens for science.
Over that six-year stretch, Racey and his Bat Conservation Trust team have captured 298 eastern sucker-footed bats in Madagascar, Yong reports. All dudes.
And this is frustrating for Racey, because, well, he is kind of a PUA for bats:
This is not a man who is accustomed to being unable to find a bat.
And like any good PUA, he has his theories about where the ladies are. He tells Yong that he has a hunch of where they’re hiding — in two groups, “perhaps one in the high mountains and another near the coast.” But, like any good PUA, he also knows when to stop:
Racey is done … “I’m 69,” he says. “We’ve done what we can, but we’ve been pissing in the wind.”
And all the lady eastern sucker-footed bats say, “Phew, that guy was creepy. He wouldn’t leave us alone, even after we made it clear we wanted nothing to do with him. Now we can finally have a couple of drinks and dance to Beyoncé in peace.”
The Females of the Madagascar Sucker-Footed Bat are Missing, National Geographic.