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Things to Know About Bats

May 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 149

What are Bats?

Bats are mammals; the only mammals capable of actually flying. Bats have wings strikingly similar to that of human hands, except they have elongated fingers webbed together by a stretchy membrane. This makeup is what allows them true flight. There are over 900 species of bats world-wide, which makes up a quarter of all mammals on the planet! Bats are classified under the Chiroptera Order, which is then categorized under two suborders, megachiroptera and microchiroptera. From there, bats are further categorized into nearly 200 genera, and then again into the 900+ species discussed earlier.


Bats are like nature's pest control, because 70% of bats consume insects for meals. There are alternatives to protein rich insects, like fruits, nuts, and nectar. Other species of bats dine on these foods depending on the region they are from. There are a small population of bats that consume small prey like birds, frogs, fish, and lizards. One popular and well-known bat that does this is the South American Vampire Bat.

Where Are They?

With the exception of super cold Polar Regions and hot deserts, bats can be found almost anywhere in the world. Their populations, however, range from millions to dangerously declining numbers. Because bats are tiny, conservative, and nocturnal, they can be perceived as rare mammals. Many bats, closer to domestic and urban society, prefer to dwell in attics, abandoned mine shafts, barns, and caves. Others make their home on hollow trees, rock cavities, and other shelters that keep them safe from predators and fluctuating weather conditions because it gives them seclusion for breeding their young.

Breeding and Reproduction

The average gestation period for a microbat is around six months, or 40 days. This is longer for larger bats. The size of the litter is much similar to humans. There is usually one pup that is birthed, but in some cases there can be two or more. Taking into consideration the size of the bat, they are among the slowest breeders on earth. At birth, a baby bat can weigh up to a quarter of the mother's size; this would be like a human having a 30 pound baby. Female bats care for the young as they grow stronger and capable of fending for themselves.

Life Span

Mortality is fairly high among young bats. They are prone to falling out of nests in high areas, and incapable of returning to the safety of the nest. In other instances, parasites and disease is the reaper of small and young bats. But, if bats can dodge these unforgiving circumstances, they can actually grow rapidly and learn to fly within three weeks of their life! Bats can live long lives, sometimes up to 20 years or more!

Bats are extraordinary mammals, and there are a lot more interesting bat facts at For more information on bats, call our experts at 317-535-4605, or visit our bat website at

Source: EzineArticles
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