Photo by The San Diego Zoo

5 Facts About Bats You May Not Know

  1. Despite what movies may portray, bats favor insects and fruit or nectar over blood. Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour. While vampire bats do exist, there are only tree species found outside the US that feed on animal blood.
  1. Bats have something in common with dolphins. They have the unique ability to echolocate. They send out a high pitch noise and listen for echoes in order to find their prey in total darkness. Bats also have great vision and some species can even detect ultra-violet light.

  1. Bats help plants grow by spreading seed through their gastrointestinal track and depositing them in their fecal matter. This helps the plant to spread seeds for reforestation, increase plant populations and even gives seeds a little fertilizer to help them grow. Bats are instrumental for 95% of tropical rainforest reforestation!
  1. Bat wings make up 95% of their body and help them to regulate body temperature, water balance, gas exchange, and even blood pressure. They are made up of skin and tiny bones that have a similar morphology as the human hand.
  1. There are a wide variety of bat sizes. The largest species of bat are known as the “Flying fox”. These species live in the south pacific and can have a wingspan up to six feet. The world’s smallest species of bat are about the size of a bumblebee and they live in Thailand.

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