Bats belong to a group of animals known as “Mammals” - which is the group we belong to too, and they are the only mammal that can fly!
There are more than 1000 species in the world. Different bats eat different things, those that eat fruits (Megabats!) and those that eat insects (Microbats!).
|Artwork by Rianne Hobbs|
Many people think bats are scary as they are associated with vampires however they’re not scary at all! In fact without them there would be many more creepy crawlies that destroy crops and cause diseases such as Mosquitoes which spread malaria, which in my opinion is much scarier!
There are types of Bat known as “Vampire Bats” and this is because they live off of the blood of animals. However most of the time the animal doesn’t even know it’s been bitten as the Bat leaves only a small mark and only takes up a small amount of blood.
Some bats help to pollinate plants and without these bats then certain types of plants wouldn’t exist. These bats are known as “Nectar-Eating Bats”.
Most of you have probably heard the expression “As blind as a Bat”, but I bet you didn’t know that bats aren’t actually blind, they can see almost as well as me and you! Bats are nocturnal which means that they are awake at night time and asleep during the day. So, when they are flying around in the dark and looking for food they use a special technique known as “Echolocation”.
Echolocation is where bats give out a high pitched call and then wait for the echo which they then use to build maps in their minds of their surroundings. Interestingly some blind humans have mastered this technique to “see” buildings and trees etc. although their calls aren’t quite as high pitched as a bats’!