Bats – Fun Facts About These Flying Mammals

Bats Settling in a TreeSince the next time we publish a blog post will be after Halloween, we’ll just celebrate a little early by talking about some fun and cute facts about bats.

Contrary to popular belief, bats are not actually rodents. They belong to the family Chiroptera, and are the only mammals who have the ability of true flight. There are over 1,000 species of bats who live all over the world. They can be divided into two categories: megabats and microbats. And it’s just as you might have suspected. Megabats are some of the largest bats, and microbats are some of the smallest, although sometimes they can be about the same size as each other. Additionally, Megabats ought to be the name of a band, if it isn’t already.

Flying Fox Bats
Flying foxes

The largest bats are Flying Foxes. Some Flying Foxes have wingspans of up to six feet wide. The smallest bats are the bumblebee bats, which, when fully grown, are only a few inches wide.

Bats prefer to live close to the equator, in jungles, forests, and cities, as well as in barns. They live on every continent except Antarctica and those who live in colder areas can migrate during the winter. Those that don’t migrate go into hibernation. Bats live and travel in colonies, not flocks, and their colonies can contain as few as 100 to many thousands of individuals.

You probably knew that bats are nocturnal and search for food, be that insects, fruit, leaves, or flowers, via echolocation, where they use sonar in frequencies undetectable to the human ear. You might not know that some bats have been known to fly up to 30 miles in a single night in the search for food. Also, some bats can eat thousands of insects per night.

 

 

Vampire Bat
Vampire Bat

 

And, since this blog post is because of Halloween, yes, I will tell you about vampire bats. Vampire bats don’t actually turn anyone into a vampire. If they did, we’d have a lot of vampire cows and horses around. Vampire bats have a chemical in their saliva which thins the blood and makes it easier to drink. Humans use this chemical in treating heart disease patients. What is this chemical called, you ask?   Draculin.

 

 

Another Halloween-y and slightly Gothic-sounding fact about bats is that if they’re a species of bat who hibernate during the winter, they do so together at special hibernation sites, and these hibernation sites are called hibernacula.

And to close out this bat appreciation blog post, did you know that bats are the only mammals who can all fly, run, and swim? They are capable of running on all fours, as well as using their wings for paddling.

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Thank you for reading! If you have a question or request, please leave it in the comments down below. We publish a new blog every Tuesday and Friday so, until next time, goodbye and happy Halloween!

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