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Correction to This Article
A March 29 Metro article and a March 30 KidsPost item about the naming of Virginia's state bat incorrectly referred to the Virginia big-eared bat as a rodent. It is a member of the order Chiroptera. Rodents belong to the order Rodentia.

Bat Soars To Lofty Status in Virginia

Warner Reveals His Poetic Side

By Chris L. Jenkins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 29, 2005; Page B05

RICHMOND, March 28 -- Thanks to the members of the General Assembly and now Gov. Mark R Warner (D), the Old Dominion has an official bat. The bat's name in English: the Virginia big-eared bat. In Latin, it's corynorhinus townsendii virginianus.

Warner signed the bill elevating the furry winged rodent Monday, one day before the deadline for acting on the nearly 1,000 bills passed by the General Assembly this year.

With a bit of verse, Gov. Mark R. Warner signed a bill designating an official bat. (File Photo)

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Because Virginia governors are barred from serving two consecutive terms, this is Warner's last chance to sign bills. So the governor and his staff waxed (a bit) poetic and tapped out some verse for the bat, which is known to flap around Appalachian caves. It included these lines:

I will sign this bill, more or less of free will.

But I can't do it without having some fun.

We have a state dog and a fish and a bird.

And of the fossil I'm sure you have heard.

So why not a bat?

What's wrong with that?

The state beverage is no more absurd.

Upon my signature now it appears,

The designation will now last for years.

I'll spare you the Latin

If you're seeking the bat in

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