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Let's Learn About Bats!

Updated on May 10, 2019
Source

Bats are cool

Often times people associate bats with scary things like vampires and disease but there is much more to these little creatures. I love bats and I think there is a lot of cool things we can learn about them.

Let's get some of the "sciency" stuff outta the way first.

  • Class: Mammalia (mammals)
  • Order: Chiroptera (which means "hand wing")
  • Families: 19
  • Genera: 187
  • Species: 951
  • Wingspan ranges from 6 ft (1.8 meters) to 6 in (15.2 centimeters)
  • Average life span is 5 years but some species can live up to 30 years

Source

Let's talk about the interesting things we can learn about Bats

  • Most people think that all bats suck blood but in reality only 3 species of bats suck blood and they primarily only feed on cattle.
  • Vampire bats adopt orphan bats. I guess vampires aren't so scary now huh?
  • Bat fingers are made out of cartilage which makes them very flexible.
  • The large to medium sized bats often eat fruit, pollen, or nectar and some will eat land animals or even fish.
  • The small bats mostly eat insects.
  • Large to medium bats have big eyes with excellent eyesight whereas the smaller bats use the famous echolocation.
  • Not all bats sleep upside down.
  • The wings have many blood vessels which help them heal more rapidly if injured.
  • Bats are the only mammals that can actually fly.
  • They can reach a top speed of 60 mph.
  • There wings have small bumps with hair that are called Merkel cells which they use to gather information about the air so they can shape their wings for better flight.
  • Bat poop can be used for a few different things such as fertilizer, gunpowder, and has even preserved fossils.

Why we need Bats.

While most people think of bees when talking about pollinating plants, bats actually do it too. Bats are responsible for pollinating trees, flowers, cacti, avocados, bananas, figs, dates, mangoes, and peaches. They also help by spreading seeds which allows new plants to grow. Bats also eat the insects that bring on diseases. We can thank them for so much yet most people just think of them as dirty scary monsters that want to suck their blood and this is simply not true.


If you would like to read more about bats here is a list of my resources:

https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/bat

https://www.paws.org/library/wildlife/mammals/bats/

https://www.britannica.com/list/5-surprising-facts-about-bats

https://defenders.org/bats/basic-facts

https://www.livescience.com/28272-bats.html

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