Bats are among the most misunderstood creatures on Earth. Here are
just a few fun facts about these fascinating little mammals that should make
you go batty for bats!
over 1,000 species, bats comprise one fifth of all the mammals in
A bat species is the world’s smallest mammal – the tiny bumblebee
bat that weighs less than a penny.
On the other hand, the Malayan fruit bat has a wing span of up to
Except for the most extreme desert and polar regions, bats have
lived in almost every habitat on Earth since the age of the dinosaurs.
Bats are the only mammals that fly.
Only three species, all in Latin America, are vampires. They really
do feed on blood, often from cattle, by pricking a small wound in the
animal and lapping up the blood with their tongues. An enzyme found in the saliva of the vampire bats is among the most
potent blood-clot dissolvers known and is used to treat human stroke
At least a few tropical bat species are monogamous, sharing hunting
and family duties. Vampire bats even adopt orphans, unusual for any wild
Tiny baby bats are called “pups.”
Using sound alone through their ability to echolocate and in total
darkness, many bats can detect obstacles as fine as a human hair.
Contrary to old saying, “blind as a bat,” bats are not blind and
most have excellent vision as well as great hearing. Large bats with
large eyes hunt by sight and smell rather than echolocation.
A bat that swoops low over your head is not interested in nesting in
your hair. It’s probably in hot pursuit of an insect.
When exposed to the hot sun during the day, bats cool themselves by
flapping their wings, licking their chest and wings, and panting. In
cool weather or during heavy rain, they almost completely wrap
themselves with their wings.
When at rest, bats normally hang head downward. It is easier for the
bat to take flight from the head-down position; it just drops and
spreads it wings.
Although they may look exotic, the bones in the bat’s wings are
actually similar to the ones found in human arms and hands.
Photo Courtesy Lubee Bat Conservancy