There are around 1,400 species of bats around the globe. For the most part, bats are ubiquitous, except for the icy poles and the driest deserts.
Size and form variations are undeniable. The Kitti's hog-nosed bat, often known as the Bumblebee Bat, is the tiniest mammal on Earth.
But the wings of a flying fox can expand to a whopping six feet in span.
Roughly 45 species of bats have been documented in the Americas. This includes the United States, Canada, and American territories in the Pacific and Caribbean.
Check out one of the wonders of natural wildlife and its relatively low profile:
The "flying fox," a native of the South Pacific, is the largest bat in the world.
One species of flying fox bat has a wingspan of up to six feet. The Thai bumblebee bat is the smallest in the world, with a weight of less than a cent and a size a little bigger than a human thumbnail.
Pups are the name given to young bats. Only one bat pup is born every year on average.
When a mother bat is searching for her young among thousands, or even millions, of other bats, she uses her unique vocalizations and odours to help narrow the search area down. With only a single offspring born each year, bats are particularly vulnerable to extinction.
The greatest number of bats in one place can be found in Texas's Bracken Bat Cave.
Millions of Mexican free-tailed bats call the Bracken Cave home from March to October each year. The Nature Conservancy was able to secure 1,521 acres to protect this vital habitat and its resident wildlife. Learn as much as possible about those regions by going on an adventure life.
Bats can travel at speeds of at least 60 miles per hour and live for more than 30 years.
Research conducted at the University of Tennessee suggests that the Mexican free-tailed bat may reach up to 100 miles per hour.
One hour of a bat's life is spent eating 1,200 insects.
Bats help keep the insect population in check because they consume a lot of insects each night, often more than their body weight.
When winter comes, some bats go into a deep sleep underground.
Bats can survive at extremely cold temperatures, even when frozen solid.
White bats eat scorpions as a staple food.
White bats don't appear vulnerable to scorpion stings, not even from the most dangerous species in North America, the Arizona bark scorpion. A pale bat's diet may consist of as much as 70 percent scorpions during certain times of the year.
Bats have excellent night vision and can find food in total darkness.
Some species of bats are not nocturnal and sleep throughout the day.
Feeding requires the ability to beep at a rate of 10–20 times per second, undetectable to humans, and listen for echoes to locate insects. The process by which animals detect their surroundings through sound is called echolocation.
One of the best fertilizers is guano, sometimes known as bat feces.
Bat guano was Texas's primary export commodity before oil was discovered there. The largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in North America can be found under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Bats numbering about 1.5 million calls that area home.
Most bat species in the United States are either extinct or on the verge of extinction.
Diseases like white-nose syndrome, which have wiped out bat populations across North America, rank high on the list of serious issues.
The Nature Conservancy collaborated with the White Nose Syndrome Research Team. Effective treatment of white-nose fungus in bats using a common bacterium led to the animals' safe return to the wild.
Bats are amazing creatures that are often misunderstood. They help with pollination and spreading seeds, which are essential to our ecosystem. Although they are often associated with Halloween and horror movies, bats are gentle creatures that are fascinating to watch and deserve our respect. Come see the bats for your next outdoor adventure!
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