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These Portuguese Libraries Are Infested With Bats — and They Like It That Way

Posted by Jean-Yves on Jun 8, 2018
 

At the University of Coimbra in central Portugal, there are bats in the biblioteca. They swoop through the stacks, winging over a first-edition of Dionysius of Halicarnassus’s “Roman Antiquities” and past a 15th-century book of hours and Homer’s “Opera Omnia” — snapping up bugs as they go.

It’s one of two 18th-century Portuguese libraries where bats are welcome guests, allowed to stay for the bug-eating — and, by extension, manuscript-preserving — services they provide. And visitors to Portugal can see them for themselves.

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