Most people think of bats as spooky, scary animals. But did you know that bats are actually really cool? Bats are the only mammal that can fly, and they eat a lot of insects!
Test your knowledge with these BAT FACTS:
True or False..
BATS ARE RODENTS.
Nope! Bats aren’t even related to rodents. In fact, they’re more closely related to primates and lemurs than they are to mice or rats. Bats are part of their own order or mammals called Chiroptera which means hand-wing.
BATS ARE BLIND.
Bats can see very well, thank you very much. I think people most often get confused on this point because they know most bats are reliant on echolocation to make their way. Since most bats can’t see in the dark, when they are most active, they rely on their built in sonar system to navigate at incredibly high speeds in absolute darkness!
BATS WILL FLY INTO YOUR HAIR.
Where did this one come from, anyway? Bats don’t have much interest in humans. So if a bat is swooping around your head, he’s probably after the mosquito about to take a bite out of you.
BATS SUCK BLOOD.
The only bats that do drink blood are vampire bats found in Mexico as well as Central and South America. They lick blood off of cows, chickens and other animals. Did you notice that I used the word lick? They don’t bite! So please stop worrying about bats. The bats that live here in Canada eat insects (take that mosquitos!), and play an important role in pest control.
BATS HAVE RABIES.
Okay, we should probably clear something up here. Bats can get rabies. But seeing that less than one per cent of bats actually contract rabies, the threat against humans is incredibly small. Of course, we’re not encouraging you to head out to a cave and try to handle these animals — they’re wild so they’re likely to bite out of self-defense
In Canada, there are eight different kinds of bats. Let's learn a little bit more about them.
The Little Brown Bat
The little brown bat is the most common bat in Canada. It is found in every province and territory except Nunavut. Little brown bats usually live in forests near water. They eating insects like mosquitoes and moths.
The Big Brown Bat
The big brown bat is another common bat found in Canada. It is also found in every province and territory except Nunavut. Big brown bats like to live in city parks and gardens. They will also live in attics and caves if they can find them! Big brown bats eat a lot of different kinds of insects, but their favourites are beetles.
The Red Bat
The red bat is not as common as the little brown bat or the big brown bat, but it can be found in forests across Canada. Red bats like to eat moths, but they will also eat other kinds of insects if they're hungry.
When it comes to feeding, bats dine on night-flying insects like moths, wasps, ants, flies, beetles, gnats mosquitos, midges and mayflies. Many Bats in Canada are at risk right now - white-nose syndrome is a disease caused by a fungus that grows on bats as they hibernate during the winter. Affected bats end up dying as a result of and starvation.
Canadian Wildlife Federation has launched a SAVE THE BATS campaign, check it out how you can save a bat and celebrate Halloween this year.
Bats are some of the most unique and incredible animals out there. Sometimes the best ways to overcome a fear of an animal is to learn more about them. So next time someone says, "Yuck, bats!".... you can pull out one of these rad #BATFACTS
1. Bats are the only flying mammal in the world.
2. Bats can live up to 30 years in the wild.
3. There are over 1,200 different species of bat in the world.
4. Bats are capable of eating up to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single night.
5. A group of bats is called a colony or a cloud.
Bats might seem a little bit spooky at first, but they're actually really amazing creatures! If you see a bat next time you're outside, don't be afraid to take a closer look. Just remember to be careful—and never touch a bat with your bare hands!
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Happy Halloween! 🧡 🖤 We’d love to see what kinds of spooky critters you've seen on your adventures. Tag us in any of your creepy creature photos! @thewildlifeca