Bats do not depend upon their senses for their night-time vision. Instead, they make fast, high-pitched squeaks which are called ultrasounds.
Bats have been perceived as scary, dangerous animals for a very long time. They have been treated as dirty creatures that need to be feared. However, this is not so. They are also mammals, just like cats, dogs, humans, and other animals.
Some Bat Facts
Contrary to popular belief, bats are very clean animals that groom themselves almost all the time.
Over 1000 species of bats exist. Most of them are so tiny that they would fit in the palm of your hand.
Most of the species give birth to one single pup each year. They are considered to be the slowest reproducing mammals on earth based on their size.
They help in pollination and food dispersal and usually live for 20-30 years.
They are not blind. In fact, most of them have very good eyesight.
Their droppings that are found in caves help whole ecosystems of unique organisms. This includes the bacteria which are useful in detoxifying wastes, improving detergents, and producing antibiotics and gasohol.
Unlike humans, bats rest during the day. They can be found in some isolated places, hanging head-down, sleeping, or even quarreling. As night approaches, they fly about inside the cave and then fly out in search of food.
Different species eat different kinds of food. Some consume moths, gnats, beetles, and crickets, while others eat pollen, nectar, and petals. Some species even eat small frogs, lizards, birds, and fish.
When moths hear the echolocation calls of bats, they are known to protect themselves. They do this by dropping to the ground, trying to escape.
Bats are able to fly and catch insects because of the structure of their wing membrane, the arrangement of the bones that support it, and the positioning of the muscles.
The footsteps of a beetle can be heard by an African heart-nosed bat from a distance of more than 6 feet.
Vampire bats are one of the few mammals who put their own life at risk to share food with their unfortunate roost-mates.
An agent found in the Vampire's saliva is in the process of being used to treat stroke victims and human heart patients.
One Little Brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in one hour. It is also known as one of the world's longest-living mammals considering its size. Its life spans almost 40 years.
Little Browns are able to bring down their heart rate to 20 beats per minute, and can even stop breathing for 48 minutes at a time while in hibernation.
Tiny Woolly bats of West Africa can be found in the big webs of colonial spiders.
Bats that consume frogs are able to identify the poisonous ones by listening to the mating calls of male frogs.
To attract their mates during courtship, male Gambian epauletted bats of Africa are blessed with pouches in their shoulders that contain large, showy patches of white fur. The Chapin's free-tailed bats have large tufts of white hair on top of their heads which they use for the same purpose.
The Honduran white bat is snow white in color, and has a yellow nose and ears. It protects its small colonies from jungle rains by cutting large leaves to make 'tents'.
You can do your share to stop bats from decreasing by providing bat houses where they can hibernate, roost, and raise their pups.
Bats are not the bad creatures that they are made out to be. They are, in fact, quite unique and fascinating.