Bats are animals that belong to the order Chiroptera and class Mammalia. Bats also are the sole mammals capable of true/powered flight. Their forelimbs are modified into wings, with membranes stretching across each spread-out digit.
One of the foremost distinguishing features of bats is their ability to echolocate – a process where a sound is employed to work out the situation of objects in an environment. Interestingly, bats are not the only animals that can use echolocation – dolphins and whales use it as well. Even several birds like the nocturnal Oilbird and Swiftlets are known to use echolocation.
Bat Habitat, Diet and Ecology
Bats are present on almost every continent except Antarctica. Most bats are insectivores, while some are nectarivores or frugivores. However, some species feed exclusively on blood – like the vampire bats. From an ecological perspective, bats are quite important as they facilitate pollination as well as seed dispersal. Many plants in tropical areas are entirely hooked into bats for these processes. Bats also are beneficial for humans as they control insect pests. Their excrement is additionally very effective as a fertilizer. However, bats also carry a host of diseases and can be a cause for concern in populated areas.
Facts about Bats
Bats can live more than 30 years and can fly at speeds of up to 60 mph.
Bats can find their food in total darkness.
Some bats hibernate in caves through the cold winter months and can survive freezing temperatures, even after being encased in ice.
Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes an hour.
Most bats have only one pup a year making them extremely vulnerable to extinction.
The world's largest bat is the Flying Fox.
Flying Fox can be found in the islands of the South Pacific.