Bat Facts

Bat Facts
Bats are large and diverse group of flying mammals. They inhabit all continents except Antarctica. There are 1100 species of bats, making the quarter of all known mammal species. 50% of all known bat species are endangered due to extensive killing, pollution, and deforestation.
Interesting Bat Facts:
Most bats are brown or black colored. Rare species are brightly colored (red or orange). They range in size greatly. Bumble bee bat is the smallest species of bat - it weighs less than a penny. Giant golden-crowned flying fox is the largest bat with a wingspan of 5 to 6 feet.
70% of all bats eat insects. Other bats consume fruits. Just three species out of 1100 known species eat blood (including human blood). Blood-eating species live in the South America. They can transmit rabies and "Darling's disease" (histoplasmosis).
Anticoagulant (substance which prevents blood clothing) isolated from the saliva of the blood eating bats are very valuable medicine used in treatment of cardiac disorders.
Bats are ecologically very important. They help in seed dispersal and ensure successful reforestation: 95% of the newly grown rainforests is result of bat induced seed dispersal. Besides, by eating various insects in large quantities, they protect crops and keep the pest under control.
Most bats live in large colonies, usually in the caves. Largest known colony is found in the North America, where 20 million bats reside inside the Bracken Bat Cave in Texas. They can eat up to 200 tons of insects per night.
Some species of bat have excellent eyesight. They use it for navigation. Other species use echo-location to orient themselves in the space during the flight and hunt. They create an image of the objects in front of them by releasing the sounds and waiting for the echo to return back after bouncing off the moving or fixed obstacles.
All bats can be divided in two large groups: mega bats and microbats. Mega bats are fruit eating, large animals with good eye sight. They live in warmer climates and prefer life on the trees instead in the caves. Microbats are usually smaller, use eco-location to find insects and prefer life in the caves.
Bats are the only mammals capable of flying. Some bats can fly 250 miles in one night, reaching the speed of 60 miles per hour and height of 10 000 feet.
Bats are more efficient in flying than birds due to their multi-jointed wings. Also, bats have larger brain (compared to the rest of the body size) than birds.
Bats can detect frequencies between 20 and 120 000 Hz (humans can hear only those from 20 - 20 000 Hz).
Most bats hibernate. It can last 30-60 days and during that time bats use stored energy for basic metabolic needs.
Bats are mostly known for unique, upside down position they have during sleeping, mating and even during giving birth of new animals. Another interesting fact is that bats can spend hours in grooming, by licking and scratching their bodies until they achieve expected level of cleanliness.
Despite their small size, bats reproduce very slowly. Female has only one pup per year.
Babies arrive at the same time in bats living in the large colonies.
Bats have a long lifespan. Some species can live up to 40 years.

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