Bats are not blind. Do you want to learn more fantastic bat facts for kids? In this article, you will learn a lot of cool facts about bats, including that they use echolocation, are nocturnal, and are the only true flying mammal species. Did you know that there is a vampire bat that eats blood? Keep reading for more exciting information about bats.
What is a Bat?
Did you know that bats are mammals? A mammal is an animal that has hair, gives birth to its babies, breathes air, and is warm-blooded. Bats make up a quarter of the world’s population of mammals!
Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Other mammals can glide for short periods, but none truly fly.
Bats are in the animal order called Chiroptera. The name comes from a bat’s hand-like wings that form from four long fingers.
What do Bats Look like?
Bats come in all kinds of colors and sizes. Each species looks a little different. When people think about bats, they usually think of a black species; however, they can also be brown, grey, tan, or red.
Their faces resemble rodents. They have small pointy ears and snouts, and their bodies are covered in fur.
A bat’s wingspan differs by species. They range from 8 inches to over 2 feet. Bats have five fingers like humans, but they are much longer and extend out with their wings.
The amount of teeth a bat has differs by species. All bat species have between 20-38 teeth.
Like humans, bats have all five senses, taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing.
Do Bats Only Come Out at Night?
Bats are nocturnal, meaning they hunt and are awake at night.
Are bats blind? The answer is no. Bats can see but not well at night.
Most bats use echolocation to help them identify objects at night.
Echolocation is a system of locating and determining what an object is based on sound waves and echoes.
How Echolocation works: Bats will send out a high-pitched sound wave or noise using their mouth and nose. The human ear cannot hear the high-pitched noise. The sound wave will hit an object then the sound will echo back to the bat. The bat can determine what the thing is based on the sound of the echo.
Where do Bats live?
There are over 1,000 different types of bats in the world. Bats live on every continent except Antarctica. They do not live in extremely cold or scorching desert locations.
Bats live in many different types of habitats. They can live in caves, parts of trees, under bridges, unused mines, buildings, and human-made bat houses; they even sometimes get to attics in houses.
Some bats live in groups called colonies. A bat colony can have over 1,000 bats.
What do Bats Eat?
Different species of bats eat different types of food.
Bats eat insects, fruits, fish, small mammals, and even blood.
There are three species of vampire bats that do drink blood. No need to worry about vampire bats coming to suck your blood. They feed off of birds’ blood. Vampire bats live in both Central and South America.
Interesting Bat Facts for Kids
Bats spend most of their time upside down. They sleep, socialize, and eat upside down. This is because of the way they are built. Their small pelvic area makes it hard for them to stand upwards.
Did you know that bat poop is called guano? Guano can be used for fertilizer.
The average lifespan for a bat is 16-20 years; however, bats have lived over 30 years.
A bat’s wings are an extension of its skin.
Bats can fly fast. They can fly over 50 miles per hour.
Are Bats Harmful to Humans?
Can bats be harmful to humans? Bats can carry rabies, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, humans are more likely to be exposed to rabies from domesticated dogs and cats who have the disease.
Do bats attack humans? Bats do not attack humans. Suppose a bat feels trapped; it will panic and fly around to get out. People have mistaken this behavior for an attack. It is not trying to hurt you. Bats actually can be helpful to humans.
Bats help farmers by eating insects that can cause damage and destroy their crops. Some bats pollinate flowers and spread seeds for new flowers and plants.
Did you know that bats help control the insect population? Bats even help with getting rid of mosquitos. Brown Bats can catch over 1,000 mosquitos in an hour! Did you know that bats can eat between 2,000-6,000 insects a night! That’s a lot of bugs. Imagine how many more insects would be around without bats.
Bats give birth to usually one baby bat called a pup. Rarely will bats have twins.
Pups are born without hair and drink milk from their mothers. Baby bats will depend on their mother for about three weeks. After three weeks, the baby bat can hunt on its own.
Types of Bats
The smallest type of bat is the Kittis Hog-Nosed Bat, also known as the Bumble Bee Bat.
Kittis Hog-Nosed Bats are only 1.2 inches long and weigh under 1 pound.
Kittis Hog-Nosed Bats live in Thailand.
The largest bat is the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox Bat. It is in the Megabat family.
The Giant Golden-Crown Flying Fox Bat is 22 inches long and weighs about 3.5 pounds. It can have a wingspan of 5.9FT.
The Giant Golden Flying Fox Bat is a fruit bat that lives in the Philippines.
Fruit bats are also part of the megabat family. They are small, only about 16 inches long, and weigh from a couple of ounces to under 2 pounds. Guess what fruit bats eat…if you guessed fruit, you would be correct! They usually don’t eat the whole fruit; instead, they will use their teeth to bite into a piece of fruit and suck out the nectar inside.
47 different species of bats live in the United States; they are:
Jamaican Fruit-Eating Bat
Mexican Long-tongued Bat
Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat
Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat
Big Brown Bat
Florida Bonneted Bat
Greater Bonneted Bat
Under wood’s Bonneted Bat
Allen’s Big-Eared Bat
Western Red Bat
Eastern Red Bat
Southern Yellow Bat
Northern Yellow Bat
Western Yellow Bat
Mexican Long-Nosed Bat
Lesser Long-Nosed Bat
California Leaf-Nose Bat
Pallas’s Mastiff Bat,
Peters’ Ghost-Faced Bat
Southeastern Myotis Bat
California Myotis Bat
Western Small-Footed Myotis Bat
Long-Eared Myotis Bat
Gray Myotis Bat
Keen’s Myotis Bat
Eastern Small-Footed Myotis Bat,
Little Brown Myotis Bat
Dark-Nosed Small-foot Myotis Bat
Arizona Myotis Bat
Northern Long-Eared Myotis Bat
Indiana Myotis Bat
Fringed Myotis Bat
Cave Myotis Bat
Long-Legged Myotis Bat
Myotis Bat, Evening Bat
Pocketed Free-Tailed Bat
Big Free-Tailed Bat
Mexican Free-Tailed Bat