REALLY AMAZING BAT FACTS

Provided by South Bay Wildlife Rehab

  • The world's smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat of Thailand. It weighs less than a penny.

  • The pallid bat of western North America is immune to the stings of scorpions and centipedes on which it feeds .

  • More than 1,300 species of bats account for about 20 % of all mammal species - making bats the second largest group of mammals in the world.

  • Fishing bats have sophisticated echolocation that can detect the fin of a minnow (as fine as a human hair- 2 millimeters) above a pond's surface.

  • Giant flying foxes that live in Indonesia have wingspans of up to six feet.

  • Frog-eating bats identify edible from poisonous frogs by listening to the mating calls of the males .

  • The golden-crowned flying fox is one of the largest bats in the world, with a wingspan of up to 5'6" and weighing up to 2.6 pounds.

  • Mother Mexican Free-tailed bats find and nurse their own young, even in huge colonies where many millions of babies cluster at up to 500 individuals per square foot.

  • Bats are the only mammal capable of true flight.

  • For their body size, bats live longer than any other order of mammal. On average, the maximum recorded life span of a bat is 3.5 times greater than other mammals of similar size.

  • There are only three bat species that only drink blood: the Common Vampire bat, the

  • rarer Hairy-legged Vampire bat and White-winged Vampire bat. The latter two prefer birds, while the Common is often seen feeding on the blood of horses and cows.

  • The Brandt's myotis of Eurasia is the world's longest-lived mammal for its size, with a lifespan that may exceed 41 years.

  • Vampire bats are social creatures, sharing food with less fortunate roost mates who are hungry.

  • Bats play essential roles in keeping populations of night flying insects in balance worldwide.

  • Researchers are studying an anticoagulant found in vampire bat saliva as a possible new treatment for human stroke patients.

  • Several species of bats from Africa, North America and New Zealand sing to attract mates.

  • Scientists have concluded that insect-eating bats save U.S. farmers a minimum of 3.7 billion dollars each year by reducing crop damage and limiting the need for pesticides.

  • Contrary to popular misconceptions, bats are not blind and do not become entangled in human hair.

  •  The Millions of Mexican free-tailed bats from Braken Cave in Texas, the largest bat colony in the world, eat up to 200 tons of insects nightly.

  • All mammals can contract rabies; however, the vast majority of bats do not. Bats that contract the virus die from the disease, usually quickly, and pose little risk to people who do not attempt to handle them.

  • Bats are vital to rainforests and other ecosystems, which rely on them to pollinate flowers and disperse seeds for countless trees and shrubs.

  • Bats are exceptionally vulnerable to extinction, in part because they are among the slowest-reproducing mammals on Earth for their size. Most produce only one pup per year.

  • In the wild, important agricultural plants, from bananas, guava and durian, to cashew, dates and figs, rely on bats for pollination and seed dispersal.

  • Desert ecosystems rely on nectar-feeding bats as primary pollinators of giant cacti, including the famous Organ Pipe and Saguaro of Arizona.

  • White-nose Syndrome is a devastating disease of hibernating bats that has caused the most precipitous decline of North American wildlife in recorded history, with losses approaching 100% in some populations. If the spread is not slowed or halted, further losses could lead to the extinction of entire species.

  • Tequila is produced from agave plants that in the wild rely on bats as their primary pollinators.

  • Bats do not only eat flying insects or fruit. Bat species are known to eat fish, frogs, birds, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, lizards, small mammals like mice or other bats, or drink blood.

  • The most significant threats to bat survival are persecution by humans and loss of habitat. Vandalism and disturbance of roosting caves, loss of trees and hunting of bats all seriously threaten remaining populations.

Spread the word, BATS are Cool! We need them and they are rapidly in decline. Thanks!