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Last updated date: 01st Dec 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

Explain the structure of the wings of a bat.

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Hint: Bats are members of the Chiroptera order of mammals. They are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight due to the adaptation of their forelimbs as wings. Bats are more maneuverable than birds because they fly with very long spread-out digits covered by a thin membrane called a patagium.

Complete answer:
Bat wings are their most distinguishing – and possibly most remarkable – feature. They give the order Chiroptera its name (literally, "hand-wing"), and functional wings and true flight are features shared by all bats.
Skin folds in bats are stretched between the elongated fingers and serve as wings. Two thin layers of skin stretched over the bat's arm and fingers form the bat's wings. Bats have four fingers and a thumb. The bat's fingers are extremely long in comparison to its body. Bat wings extend down the bat's body and part of the way down its legs.
The bat's wings extend down the side of its body and part way down its legs. Bats' wings can be shaped into various shapes, allowing them to quickly change the degree and direction of the lift. This allows them to weave and dive in the air like no other animal, giving them an advantage when hunting prey.
Bats play an important role in the control of a variety of insect pests.
Big brown bats eat June bugs, cucumber beetles, green and brown stink bugs, and leafhoppers and live primarily in agricultural areas.

Bats provide some direct benefits to humans at the expense of some drawbacks. Bat dung has been and continues to be mined as guano from caves and used as fertilizer in many places. Bats eat insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides and other insect control measures.