WILDLIFE DISCOVERY : The Nocturnal Bat

Bats are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera The forelimbs of bats are webbed and developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums and colugos, glide rather than fly, and only for short distances.

Bats are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera The forelimbs of bats are webbed and developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight.

By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums and colugos, glide rather than fly, and only for short distances. Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, as birds do, but instead flap their spread out digits, which are very long and covered with a thin membrane

There are about 1,100 bat species worldwide, which represent about 20 percent of all classified mammal species. About seventy percent of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters.

A few species feed on animals other than insects. Bats are present throughout most of the world and perform vital ecological roles such as pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds. Many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds.

Bats are nocturnal because they fly around at night.
There is one bat—the vampire bat that is popular. The vampire bat got its name from the creature in literature and folk tales that is an undead being who survives on the blood of other humans.

The vampire bat does drink blood as its source of food. Vampire bats generally drink from cattle and other large herbivores and present no danger to humans.

Most bats do have bad eyesight, but they are definitely not blind. In laboratory tests, bats have been shown to be able to distinguish shapes and colors.

The main reason that people think bats are blind is because they hunt at night and they use a form of sonar to find their way and their prey.

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