Friday, January 12, 2018

Amazing Facts About Bats

Bats are the second largest mammal after rodents with almost 1000 species found all around the world. Most of the bats are nocturnal and could be found hanging upside down on trees, mountain cliffs or caves roosting during day. After roosting, a bat bird starts flying from its resting place in search of food. Bats roost a lot during day time and between bots of feeding during night.


During nights bats find their food either by sight or scent by using sound waves. This process is called echolocation. A microbat burst high frequency sound to find prey in the dark. This high frequency sound bounces off the prey such as a moth or a rat and thus the bat pinpoints the location of its food; by listening to the returning echo of their sound. Fishing bats too use echolocation to detect fish below the water surface.

Types of Bats

Bats species are divided into two groups - Megachiroptera or megabats and Microchiroptera or microbats.


A Malaysian Flying Fox is a large fruit bat

Fruit bats fall under the category of megachiroptera or megabats. Fruit bats are also known as flying foxes and are found in tropical and subtropical parts of the continents of Asia, Africa and Australia. Most of the megabats eat fruits but few species are known to eat flowers, insects, pollen etc. The fruit bats prefer living in tropical belt due to abundant food supply. Megabats lack a tail unlike most species of microbats.


Microbats are often mislead with the term insect-eating bats but they also feed on fruits, meat, fish, pollen as well as blood. These bats are found in tropical as well as temperate regions. Microbats are often known to roost in tree holes. Large microbats such as  False Vampire bats eat mice, rats and frogs.

20 Amazing Facts about Bats

1. Bats are the only mammals that can fly.

2. Bats find their food either by sight or scent by using sound waves which is a process called echolocation.

3. A bat's wing consists of an elastic membrane that is stretched between the elongated fingers of its front limbs and back of its hind limbs.

4. Btas have a clawed thumb on the edge of each wing.

5. Bats could get killed by frost and hence they hibernate in cold places where they would be protected by frost.

6. The place where a bat roosts is known as hibernaculum. This place has to be damp so that bats do not dry out. Perfect locations for roosting includes caves, tree holes, loft spaces etc.

7. Insect eating bats have large ears which are essential for echolocation.

8. In a long-eared bat, ears are almost as long as bat's head and body combined.

9. A horseshoe bat catches prey by emitting sounds through their noses.

10. Epauletted fruit bats have large eyes and nose.

11. Vampire bats feed on the blood of mammals or small birds. They make a wound on the ear or ankle of the prey with help of their razor like incisor teeth.

12. Smaller bats such as pipistrelles catch tiny gnats and mosquitoes.

13. Large bats such as noctules feed on cockchafers and dung beetles.

A Bumblebee bat is also known as Kitti's hog-nosed bat
14. Fruit bats squash ripe fruits against ridges on the roof of their mouth.. They then spit out the rind and large seeds.

15. Some species of bats are in danger of extinction due to greatest threats to their survival which  include destruction of habitat, pesticide and human vandalism.

16. Some animals that prey on bats include Mongrove rat snake, bat hawks, owls and cats.

17. The largest bat known is the Malaysian Flying Fox which can have a wingspan of up to 5 to 6 feet.

18. The smallest bat is known to be a Bumblebee bat which weighs only about 2 grams and is 30 mm long.

19. During sleeping, the toes of the bat have special locking mechanism which prevents fall when hanging upside down.

20. Like any other mammal, a female bat carries her young inside her womb until birth. 

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