Researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Bat Lab attempt to rehabilitate winged creature’s much-maligned public image The bat shivered in fear as it hung precariously from Maya Weinberg’s gloved hand. At the Bat Lab, Israel’s real-life Bat-men (and Bat-women) conduct research into a wide variety of bats, the only mammals capable of flying. There are more than 1,400 species of bats worldwide; most are nocturnal and rarely come into contact with humans. Some are beneficial to their environments, since they eat a lot of insects and even help to disperse seeds and pollinate flowers. Since the COVID-19 pandemic these unique winged creatures’ public image has taken a massive hit. So far scientists have not been able to find any evidence linking bats to the virus, but the connection has proven to be nearly impossible to dispel.