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Interesting facts about bats

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We found 33 interesting facts about bats

The only mammals that can fly

Bats are one of the most numerous mammals on Earth. Sexually mature forms resembling today's individuals probably appeared on Earth after the extinction of the dinosaurs, although their ancestor already existed in the Late Cretaceous. Therefore, it can be assumed that the first bats existed in ecosystems inhabited by dinosaurs and witnessed the destruction of their world. The oldest bat fossils found are about 52,5 million years old and were found in Wyoming, USA. Currently, 19 families of these animals live on Earth, and 7 of them have not survived to this day. Although they have been associated with evil, darkness and death for centuries, not all cultures view these animals the same way.
1

Bats are placental mammals. They are found almost all over the world, except Antarctica.

2

There are about 1360 species of bats, 27 of them live in Poland.

3

There are two suborders of bats: red-headed bats and bats.

4

The order of bats makes up about 20% of all mammals. Only there are more rodents.

5

The oldest bat fossils date back to the early Eocene, approximately 52,5 million years ago.

6

Bats are the only mammals with the ability to actively fly. They are definitely more agile than birds.

7

Most bats live in colonies.

This type of social functioning keeps the animals safe and provides many other benefits, such as reduced heat loss when they sleep next to each other.
8

Colonies of some bat species can reach millions of individuals, while other species lead a solitary lifestyle.

9

Since bats are heat-loving animals, they readily choose the warmest places as shelters, such as attics, chimneys, hollow trees and the highest parts of buildings or caves.

10

Bats do not build nests or any other shelters; they always use existing landscape elements.

11

Bats from the horseshoe bat and bat families are able to significantly regulate their body temperature, allowing them to enter a state of hibernation.

Some of these animals are capable of hibernating every day. The state of controlled decrease in body temperature that bats enter is called torpor.
12

The wings of a bat consist of transformed fingers of the forelimb, forearm and hand, between which a flight membrane is stretched.

Interestingly, the bat's thumbs are not part of the wings and have not been transformed.
13

Bat excrement is called guano.

Guano is a very effective and rich fertilizer, so in the period before the development of artificial fertilizers, it was very valuable and desirable. Currently, demand for guano is rising again due to the boom in organic farming.
14

The vast majority of bats feed on insects, but there are also carnivorous, herbivorous and blood-sucking species.

15

The number of teeth bats have varies depending on the species. Smaller insectivorous bats may have 38 teeth, while vampire bats may have 20 teeth.

16

Most bats are polygamous. One male fertilizes several females.

In most cases, the mating season of these animals occurs in late summer and early autumn, but fertilization can only occur in late winter.
17

In hibernating bat species, mating can occur during hibernation.

18

Three species of bats found in South America feed on the blood of birds and mammals.

19

Bats are relatively long-lived animals. The Polish record holder for the lesser horseshoe bat lived for 21 years, and the world record holder, Brandt's bat, lived for 41 years.

20

Bats obtain information about the world around them through echolocation.

They send out ultrasound, which bounces off objects and returns to the ear with a certain delay, helping the animal build a spatial map of its surroundings.
21

Bats' eyes are small and poorly developed, but all bats see.

Most bats have only mesopic vision, meaning they are adapted to little light. Mesopic vision is an intermediate state between day vision (photopic) and night vision (scotopic), in which both methods are used simultaneously.
22

Some species of bats are able to see in the ultraviolet range.

23

The range of sounds produced by bats ranges from 11 kHz to 212 kHz.

24

It wasn't until 1941 that it was discovered that bats use echolocation to navigate their environment.

25

Brazilian Molossian bats (Tadarida brasilliensis) have a flight speed of 160 km/h.

26

The smallest bat is the little bat found in Thailand. This species grows to 29-34 mm and is also the smallest living mammal.

27

The largest bat is Acerodon crested, with a wingspan of up to 170 cm and a weight of more than 1,4 kg. Male Acerodons are slightly larger than females.

28

Bats have appeared frequently in mythology and religion.

In Aztec mythology, the bat symbolized the land of the dead, decay and destruction. The Zapotecs believed in a bat god who had power over corn and fertility. In Native American cultures, bats were considered to be intelligent and cunning.
29

In China, the bat is a symbol of happiness, joy and wealth.

30

In Western European countries, the bat was often associated with death, magic, darkness and hostility.

31

One of the most characteristic motifs of Catalan heraldry is the bat. It can be found, among others, on the coats of arms of Valencia, Palma de Mallorca and Fraga.

32

All species of bats in Poland are subject to strict protection.

33

The science of bats is called chiropterology.

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