Read over these bats facts to dispel inaccurate bat myths, and learn the best about bats. Bats are amazing, small mammals that help keep the ecosystem balanced by pollinating crops and eating insects. Most bats have a bad reputation for silly things like turning into vampires, sucking blood, being contaminated with deadly germs and having no eyesight. Learn about thesen bats facts to find out the best things about bats.
- There are over 1,000 species of bats. All bat species are mammals, and most are small enough to fit in your hand. Only about 40 bat species live in North America, incuding the flying fox, brown bat and red bat. The smallest species of bats is from Thailand, and is aonly as large as a U.S. dime.
- Bats are the only flying mammal. Solid skin covering the wing makes bats amazing flyers. Solid winged bats can make sudden direction changes without drifting like birds. Bats pluck insects and fruit from the air while flying. Interestingly, Mexican free-tailed bats can fly up to 1,000 feet high in the sky.
- Some species of bats hibernate. It is an astonishing bats fact that different species of bats hibernate during the winter, some for up to 83 days. During this time the heartbeat of the bat drops from 400 beats per minute to about 25 beats per minute while hibernating. Brown bats, which are the most common bat in North America, can stop breathing for an hour during hibernation to conserve energy.
- Bats use echolocation to communicate, catch prey and avoid obstacles. Echolocation is a high frequency sound emitted from bats. If someone shouted at the opening of a canyon, his voice echoing through the canyon and back would be similar to echolocation. Bats emit a high pitched sound, then wait for the sound waves to return after they bounce off nearby objects.
- Bats are not dirty animals. Some people cringe at the thought of bats because they think bats are disease carrying animals. Contrary to the common belief of the public, bats clean their fur constantly when not eating or sleeping. Bats clean fur by licking similar to the way cats clean fur.