101 Bat Facts – Amazing Animal WebBooks

Over 101 amazing Bat Facts

Bat facts

See video footage of Vampire Bats here

A detailed playlist of the videos is listed below.
The Playlist:

  • All About Bats by Paul Treadwell
  • Bat Caves of Texas – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official] by Texas Parks and Wildlife
  • Meet the World’s Biggest Bat by National Geographic
  • Freaking cute orphan baby bat has a play after her feed by Megabattie
  • Orphaned baby bats play on the balcony by Megabattie
  • Cute baby flying-fox has a bath by Megabattie
  • BAT SENSE – by Nature Video
  • Season of the Bat by wpsu
  • Fernando – mega bat (flying fox) Australian bats Rescued – 14/01/2012 by James Chadwick
  • We Need Bats & Bats Need Us by Bat Conservation International

Contents

Contents
General
Evolution
Anatomy and Senses
Echolocation
Eating and Drinking Habits
Other Behavior
Reproduction
Megabats
Microbats
Vampire Bats
Bats and Humans
Bats in Folklore and Superstitions
For Video Footage
Photo Credits

General

In many parts of the world, bats are called mice. However, bats are not rodents. They belong to the order of mammals called Chiroptera which in Greek means “hand-wing”.


Cluster of gray bats by USFWS Headquarters

Bats are divided into two sub-orders – megabats and microbats. Many megabats are larger than microbats. However, the main difference between the two is that all microbats use the sonar system called echolocation, while only one genus of megabats does. Microbats also lack claws and underfur.

There are more than 1200 species of bats today, and together they make up 20% of all the mammals in the world!


Canyon bat by Hoarybat

Bats are widely distributed throughout the world, except in the Arctic and the Antarctic, and can be found in various habitats, including deserts, seasides, mountains and cities. Wherever they live, bats have roosts, places where they sleep, such as caves and trees, and foraging areas, places where they find food.

Bats vary in size, ranging in weight from less than an ounce (28 grams) to up to 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms), with most bats able to fit in the hand of a human adult. Wingspan ranges from less than 6 inches (15 centimeters) to as large as nearly 6 feet (1.8 meters)!


Common Fruit Bat flying in Israel by MathKnight-at-TAU

Bats normally live for 20 to 30 years, which is longer than most animals their size, and even than animals larger than them. Squirrels, for example, can live for only up to 6 years while the red fox, which can weigh up to 30 pounds (190 kilograms), can live for only up to 12 years. This makes bats the exception to the rule that small animals have short lifespans and large animals have long lifespans.

There are no special names for male or female bats. A group of bats however, is called a colony. The largest bat colony can be found in the Bracken Bat Cave in Texas, comprised of over 20 million bats!


Bats flying into Texas sunset by USFWS Headquarters

Evolution

Little is known about the evolution of bats because bat fossils are very rare – a result of their thin, fragile bones. Scientists believe, however, that insect-eating bats evolved from a tree-climbing, shrew-like animal, while fruit-eating bats branched off from primates – the order to which monkeys and apes belong.

The oldest fossils of insect-eating bats ever found date back to around 52 million years ago. The bats in the genus Icaronycteris were about 6 inches (15 centimeters) long with 15-inch (38-centimeter) wingspans and long tails, while the bats in the genus Onychonycteris had claws on all five fingers. They also had well-developed wings but not well-developed ears, which showed that bats developed flight before they developed echolocation.


Greater mouse-eared bat skeleton by Mnolf

Only two fossils of fruit bats have ever been discovered. One, which was found in Italy, dates back about 34 million years ago, while the other, found in Africa, is less than 20 million years old.

Anatomy and Senses

A bat’s hands are also its wings. Indeed, in between the bat’s long fingers is a membrane called patagium, which when stretched, is what allows it to fly. This patagium is very thin, allowing the bat to fly easily and quickly, but it is also very delicate and subject to tearing. Fortunately, the membrane can repair itself and so rips are easily mended.


Wing inspection by USFWS/Southeast

Bats have more flexible finger bones than any other mammal. This allows them to change the shape of their wings according to their needs and to maneuver their way through the air.


Indiana Bat Foot by USFWSmidwest

A bat’s wings are also very sensitive. They are covered in special bumps called Merkel cells, just like the ones located on our fingertips, which feel the air and gather information from it.

Bats that use their wings to trap their prey also have additional receptor cells on their wings which prompt the wing to contract and stretch when needed.

Bats have tails. However, their tails are hard to see because they are also connected to their fingers, forming part of the wing. The exact function of a bat’s tail is unclear but some scientists believe it plays an important role in the bat’s ability to fly.

There is a phrase that goes – “as blind as a bat”. Bats, however, are not blind. While an insectivore bat’s eyes may seem small, it can still see. It just uses its hearing more than its sight. Fruit bats, on the other hand, rely mostly on their sense of sight and so have large eyes and good eyesight.

Bats have an excellent sense of smell. They can smell a fruit or a flower from miles away and they can also pick out the individual scent of their young among thousands in a pitch-black cave.

Bats have 800 taste buds which allow them to taste the food they eat. For comparison, humans have 10,000 taste buds, cats have less than 500 and birds have 200.

Echolocation

A bat’s most acute sense, however, is its sense of hearing, which is particularly true in the case of the microbats that use echolocation. Simply put, echolocation is the process of locating an object by following echoes or reflected sound.

For echolocation to work, first, the bat produces a sound, either through its nose or through its mouth. This sound is extremely high-pitched – up to 200 kHz in frequency – and so we humans do not hear it. It can be very loud, though able to go beyond 110 decibels – as loud as the noise made by a food blender.


Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus by PD-USGov

When producing sounds through their noses, bats can control the direction of the sound using their special nostrils which work the same way as when you cup your hands over your mouth to shout. Some bat species have a unique feature on their nose, called a noseleaf, which aids in echolocation.

After producing the sound, the bat then waits for the echo and, judging by how much time passes between the sound and the echo, is able to determine the distance of an object. Using echolocation, a bat can even determine the size of the object and its direction. If the echo reaches its left ear first, then the object is to the left. If the returning echo has a lower pitch than the original sound, the object is moving away.

A bat’s ears are large and uniquely shaped, like funnels or satellite dishes, with plenty of folds, allowing the bat to capture returning echoes with ease and quickly process them. It is also able to close and open its inner ears, closing them when making its high-frequency sounds so as not to be deafened by them, and then opening them to hear the echoes.


Townsend’s big-eared bat by USFWS Headquarters

Insectivore bats have an extra cartilage in their ears, called the tragus. Scientists believe this helps them in defining sound, although in what way exactly remains unknown.

Echolocation does not always work in the bat’s favor. Some moths have an organ called the tympanum, which causes the muscles in their wings to twitch when they sense the sounds made by the bat. This, in turn, allows them to automatically take flight or go into hiding.

Eating and Drinking Habits

Most bats – about 70% of them – are insectivores, preying on both flying and crawling insects. The rest are frugivores, or fruit bats, while others drink nectar. A few bats are also known to be carnivorous or hematophagous, which means they feed on blood.

Insect-eating bats are a big help to humans because they get rid of unwanted mosquitoes. In fact, a single bat can eat more than a thousand mosquitoes in an hour!

A small bat colony can eat over a ton of insects, or more than 6 million every year. According to Bat Conservation International, 150 brown bats can eat enough cucumber beetles in one summer to save farmers over a billion dollars.


Eating a proffered ground cricket before release by Hoarybat

Insect-eating bats catch insects by scooping them up with their mouths in mid-air, by trapping them inside their wings or by picking them up from plants. They can consume up to half their body weight in insects in one night.

Fruit bats also help humans by playing an important role in the seed dispersal of various plants such as bananas, mangoes, cashews, dates and figs. When eating fruits, bats pick the fruit off the tree and then fly off somewhere to eat it. They crush the fruit open and eat the fleshy parts, then spit out the seeds and pulp, which take root and grow into new plants.

Fruit bats have flatter teeth than insectivore bats, allowing them to mash fruits efficiently. They also differ from insectivore bats in terms of the shape of their skull and the bones in their neck and hands.


Small fruit bat eating papaya by Dave Lonsdale

Nectar-eating bats, on the other hand, pollinate various plants. This means that they transfer pollen, the fine powder produced by plants, from one flower to another, enabling the flower to produce seeds. They do not do this intentionally, though. Rather, when bats eat nectar, the pollen accidentally sticks to their wings and then is scattered when the bats fly off, falling on other flowers.

Nectar-eating bats are well-adapted to their diet. They have long muzzles and even longer tongues that are covered in fine bristles. When the bat shoots its tongue into the flower, the nectar sticks to the bristles, allowing the bat to gather it into his mouth.

One particular plant that bats pollinate is the agave. Agave is the source of the alcoholic drink known as tequila and without bats, the production of tequila would drop by over 90%.


Long Tongue Nectar Bat by robstephaustralia

In deserts, nectar-eating bats are the main pollinators of plants such as cacti. The saguaro, in particular, which is a cactus species that can grow over 70 feet (21 meters) tall, relies mostly on bats for pollination since its flowers bloom at night.

Carnivorous bats eat mostly frogs, lizards, birds and smaller bats. They can catch birds and bats in mid-air and pick frogs and lizards from plants. Some also eat fish, which they detect from the ripples on the water’s surface and grab out of the water using the claws on their hind feet.

Three species of bats feed on blood, particularly the blood of birds and mammals, earning them the collective name “vampire bats”. Contrary to popular belief, however, they do not suck blood. Instead, they bite into the skin, creating a small opening, and then lap up the blood that flows out.

Bats drink water by skimming the surface of a body of water like a pond or lake. They swoop down and gather water in their mouths one drop at a time, or wet the fur on their chest which they lick later on.


Drinking water through a straw before release by Hoarybat

Other Behavior

Bats can fly as high as 10,000 feet (3 kilometers) above the ground and as fast as 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour – faster than most owls. Usually they fly at just 10 to 15 miles (16 to 21 kilometers) per hour as they search for food.

Nearly all microbats, and some megabats, are nocturnal. This allows them to feed on more insects, and also to deal with fewer predators, such as birds of prey and tree-climbing mammals.

When bats sleep, they hang upside down with their wings folded at their sides. This allows them to fly immediately when there is danger and also to avoid predators.


Sleeping bats by YuvalH

Microbats and megabats roost differently. While they both hang upside down, megabats tuck their heads close to their chests while microbats bend their heads towards their backs. Because of this, megabats see the world upside down but microbats see it right-side up.

Bats remain asleep on rainy nights. This is because there are fewer insects out on rainy nights and because the rain interferes with echolocation.

Bats live in colonies that can reach millions in number, all roosting in the same place, like a large cave. Not much is known about these bat colonies but they are believed to be tight-knit, with the healthy bats bringing food back to those that are ill and unable to leave the roost.


Hibernating bats by Dolovis

During winter, some bats migrate long distances to warmer areas, while others hibernate for up to six months. During cold weather, some bats go into a state called torpor, in which they deliberately lower their body temperature and metabolism level in order to conserve energy.

Bats use a lot of energy to come out of hibernation – more than a month’s store of energy – and so it is very important not to disturb them when they are hibernating.

Bats groom themselves constantly, just as cats do. When they are not sleeping or hunting, they lick and scratch themselves for hours. They sometimes groom each other, as well.


Bats near opening of cave at Bat Temple by amanderson2

Apart from producing sounds for the purpose of echolocation, bats also make sounds to communicate with each other, such as high-pitched screeches and chirps. The calls made by male and female bats to each other are very distinct, so much so that the humans who hear them are easily able to tell them apart.

Reproduction

Bats have one of the slowest reproductive rates for animals their size. Most give birth to just one or two babies a year, which are called pups.

Most bats have a breeding season which occurs from late spring to early fall. Some species are monogamous but most are not, with both males and females having multiple mates.


Samal’s Geoffroy’s Rousette fruit bats mating by Josh Aggars

Female bats have the special ability to control when they will give birth, which they usually plan to coincide with spring when food is most abundant. Some delay the fertilization of the egg, while others delay the implantation – when the egg sticks to the lining of the female uterus and begins to develop. Some can even delay the development of the fertilized egg.

Female bats can give birth to only one pup at a time, with the gestation period lasting anywhere from 40 days to 6 months – the larger the bat, the longer the gestation period. This is because female bats still have to fly and find food even when they are pregnant.

Newborn bats are helpless, being blind and pink without any fur. During the first few days, they are carried by their mothers wherever they go since they cannot yet hang on their own.


Fruit bat with pup by allesok

When the pups can roost on their own, they are left behind while their mothers look for food, though they continue to nurse for up to six weeks. Between one to four months old, they grow to their full size and learn to fly, leaving the roost to find food for themselves.

Megabats

About 60 species of megabats belong to the genus Pteropus and are known as flying foxes. They are so named because they have long muzzles, large eyes and small ears like a fox, though they are believed to be more closely related to primates.

The large flying fox found in Southeast Asia is arguably the largest flying fox and one of the largest bats in the world. Its wingspan reaches up to 4 feet 11 inches (1.5 meters).

The spectacled flying fox has a unique appearance. It has pale yellow patches around its eyes which make it look like it’s wearing a pair of spectacles. Some spectacled flying foxes even have patches of yellow fur on their heads.


Flying fox colony near Cairns Library by EpochCatcher

Some megabats have tube-like nostrils and so are known as tube-nosed fruit bats. This unique shape of the nostrils is believed to contribute to their keen sense of smell, allowing them to smell fruits from several miles away.

Other megabats have wings that meet in the center of their backs so it appears as if they have no backs at all. They are known as bare-backed fruit bats or naked-backed fruit bats.

The common blossom bat is the smallest fruit bat, measuring only a little over 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. It feeds mostly on nectar and pollen and often competes with the honeybee for food.

The Egyptian fruit bat is the only megabat to use echolocation. It makes clicking sounds with its tongue, which become more frequent as it closes in on an object like a fruit tree.


Egyptian fruitbat by Arpingstone

The Fijian monkey-faced bat is one of the rarest bats in the world, found only in the mountains of Fiji. It is the only mammal endemic to Fiji, meaning it is the only mammal naturally found there.

The giant golden-crowned flying fox is actually not a flying fox, belonging to a different genus. Some consider it to be the largest bat in the world, with its wingspan reaching up to 5 feet 7 inches (1.7 meters).

The straw-colored fruit bat is the most common megabat in Africa, living in colonies that consist of up to a million individuals, and is one of the most widely distributed fruit bats in the world. It gets its name from its yellowish back – a contrast to its completely black wings.


Straw-colored fruit bat by LaggedOnUser

Straw-colored fruit bats have large, pouch-like cheeks like squirrels, where they can store small fruits while flying. They also eat the bark of trees and are sometimes seen chewing on wood to get moisture, instead of drinking water directly.

Stripe-faced fruit bats are some of the most unique-looking bats in the world. They have orange fur with a white stripe down the middle of their snouts and white spots above their eyes.

Epauletted fruit bats are so named because the males look like they are wearing epaulettes – those ornamental pieces that palace guards wear on their shoulders – but only when they are courting. During courtship, they show these patches of fur to attract females while making very loud calls that sound like a dog’s bark.


Fruit bat exposing tip of tongue by allesok

Gambian epauletted fruit bats are among the most tightly-knit bats when it comes to social behavior. In each colony, the bats are divided into families as well as into separate groups for juveniles and non-breeding adults, and when they travel, they do so in groups of up to 20 bats, stopping to show concern whenever a member of their group is shot down.

Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bats are often described as clumsy fliers since they often bump into obstacles. In spite of this, though, they still manage to find food with females hunting in the early hours of the night and males hunting just before dawn.


Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bats at Lake Malawi National Park by Hans Hillewaert

The hammer-headed bat is the largest bat in Africa, growing nearly a foot long and having a wingspan of over 3 feet (0.9 meters). Males of this species have large heads – up to three times larger than the females’ – as well as wide lips and split chins which allow them to make loud honking calls.

Microbats

The Brandt’s Bat is the longest-living bat species, able to live over 40 years. This is very interesting because the Brandt’s bat is very small, half the size of a mouse, and so should live only up to five years at most.

Bulldog bats get their name from the fact that their upper lips are divided by a skin fold and their lower lips have warts that extend to the chin, just like a bulldog’s lips. Bulldog bats also have rounded nostrils and pointed ears.


Lesser bulldog bat (Noctilio albiventris) by Felineora

The greater bulldog bat is also called the fisherman bat because it chiefly preys on fish. Using echolocation, it detects the slightest ripples on the water’s surface and then swoops down to catch fish. It can even detect a minnow’s fin as thin as a strand of human hair emerging above the water.

The common pipistrelle is the smallest bat in Europe, where it is widely distributed. It is only as long as a human adult’s shortest finger and yet it can eat as many as 3000 insects in one night!

Disc-winged bats, which are found in Central and South America, have suction cups under their thumbs and heels which allow them to cling to coiled leaves and window panes.

The ghost bat is one of only two species of white bats. In addition, its wings are very thin, making it appear ghostly at night. It is a carnivorous bat, feeding on small mice, snakes and insects.

The fringe-lipped bat feeds not only on insects but also on lizards and frogs. It can tell which frogs are poisonous and which ones are not by listening to their calls.


Fringe-lipped bat by Felineora

Hardwicke’s woolly bat is a small bat that roosts on pitcher plants, hanging above the pitchers of digestive fluid. The plant provides the bat shelter and protection while the bat’s droppings provide the plant with extra nitrogen.

Most bats are brown or black but the Honduran white bat is – you guessed it – completely white, except for its yellow nose and ears. Apart from the ghost bat, it is the only other known white bat.

The Honduran white bat is tiny – less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) long – and so instead of roosting in caves, five or six Honduran white bats live in one large leaf of the Heliconia plant. By cutting some of the veins of the leaf, it droops down to form a tent, concealing the bats so efficiently that when they are completely still, one can hardly tell they are there.


Honduran white bats in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica by Leyo

The Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, found in parts of Thailand and Burma, is the smallest bat in the world and one of the world’s smallest mammals. It can grow only 1.3 inches (3.3 centimeters) long at most and weighs less than an ounce (28 grams). Because of its size, it is also known as the bumblebee bat.

The lesser bamboo bat is also a tiny bat, growing up to 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) long. It roosts inside bamboo stalks in China and Southeast Asia, squeezing itself into openings just as wide as a fingernail.

The little brown bat is commonly found throughout North America. These bats are often seen hunting in groups, eating thousands of mosquitoes every night. They are known to return to feeding sites where they have had successful hunts in the past.

Little brown bats sleep for nearly 20 hours every day, only coming out of their caves when food is most abundant. In this way, they are able to conserve their energy.

Little brown bats usually emit 20 calls per second during flight. When pursuing prey though, they can emit up to 200 calls per second.


Little brown bat by USFWS Headquarters

The Mexican free-tailed bat is another of the most common bats in North America. It is also the highest flying of bats, soaring to heights of more than 10,000 feet (3048 meters).

Mexican free-tailed bats fly south during winter. One colony, composed of about one and a half million bats – the largest urban colony of bats in the United States – is known to spend summers under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Texas and winters in Mexico.

The Mexican free-tailed bat is the state bat of Oklahoma and Texas. It is also featured in the logo of the world-famous Bacardi rum.


Mexican free-tailed bat by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

Mouse-eared bats hibernate during winter. During hibernation, they can lower their heartbeat from 880 beats to just 18 beats per minute.

Mouse-tailed bats have the longest tails of all bats, some growing nearly as long as their bodies. They are found in North Africa and Asia and have been commonly seen roosting in the pyramids of Egypt.

Pallid bats eat mostly scorpions and centipedes that grow up to 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) long and are immune to their poison. They catch their prey on the ground and then bring it to higher ground to eat it.


Pallid bat by Hoarybat

Slit-faced bats have long slits running down the middle of their faces. They are also the only mammals to have T-shaped tails, due to the presence of an extra cartilage.

The spectral bat, or false vampire bat, is the largest bat in the Americas, weighing 6.7 ounces (190 grams) and having a wingspan of 39 inches (99 centimeters). It is a carnivorous bat, feeding on birds, lizards, insects and smaller bats.

Some spectral bats mate for life. While the female is pregnant, the male goes out to hunt, bringing food back to his mate. When the pup is born, the male helps care for it as well and often sleeps with his wing wrapped around his mate and the pup.

The spotted bat is known for the three large white spots on its black back. It also has large ears that can grow over 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) long – the largest of any bat living in North America.

The tube-lipped nectar bat is one of the few nectar-eating microbats, and it has the longest tongue (relative to its body size) of all mammals. Its tongue can grow over 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) long, which is 150% its overall body length.

Vampire Bats

The common vampire bat is found only in the Americas. It feeds on the blood of mammals, particularly livestock such as cattle and horses, using the special heat sensors on its nose to detect blood vessels under the animal’s skin.

A common vampire bat can feed for as long as 30 minutes. Sometimes, it is so heavy when it is finished that it cannot immediately fly off. Rather, it waits to digest its food and excrete some of it before heading back home.

30a-Desmodus
Common Vampire Bat by Acatenazzi

Common vampire bats feed on the same animal for several consecutive nights, marking it with their urine. They are protective of their food source and will usually not share it with other bats.

Common vampire bats are the only bats able to move well on land. They can run and jump for short distances. They can also climb using their claws.

Common vampire bats live in “harems” composed of one or a few dominant males and plenty of females. The females have strong bonds and help each other nurse and raise the pups. When a pup is orphaned, the other mothers adopt it and raise it as their own.

Common vampire bats help each other to survive. When a bat is unable to find food, it begs one of its roost-mates, who then brings some of the swallowed blood up to its mouth and passes it on to its hungry companion.


Those aren’t big birds, sweetheart. They’re giant vampire bats by elbragon

The hairy-legged vampire bat feeds mainly on the blood of birds, drinking up to 5 tablespoons (14.8 milliliters) of blood per night. Compared to the common vampire bat, it is solitary, often roosting alone.

White-winged vampire bats have white wingtips, and like hairy-legged vampire bats, feed on the blood of birds. They sometimes snuggle up to hens, pretending to be their chicks, and then feeding on their blood while they are asleep.

Bats and Humans

Bat dung is called guano and is so rich in nutrients that it is harvested from caves and used as fertilizer. During the US Civil War, guano was also used to make gunpowder.

Vampire bats have a special enzyme in their saliva, called DSPA or draculin, which prevents blood from clotting, allowing it to flow out until they are done feeding. This enzyme is currently being researched, since it may help break up blood clots in the human brain that lead to stroke.

The fear of bats is known as chiroptophobia and is quite common, stemming from the dark superstitions surrounding the animal. In some cases, it is the result of the startling experience of running into or being chased by a disturbed swarm of flying bats.

From 1951 to 2008, there were 51 reported deaths from bat rabies in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC), bats are also responsible for more human rabies cases than dogs, rats and skunks.

Bat dung can be the source of Cave Disease, which is a lung condition that can be fatal when left untreated. Even so, the chances of a person dying from a bat is just one in a million. In fact, it is even more likely for a human to die from slipping inside a bathtub.


Inside the cave- hardened bat guano by oldandsolo

Bats in Folklore and Superstitions

In Europe, bats are associated with witchcraft, being powerful components in a witch’s potions. In 1332, Lady Jacaume of Bayonne in France was burned at the stake on suspicion of witchcraft, simply because she had plenty of bats hanging around her house.

In the Caribbean, it is believed that if you place bat’s blood over your eyes, you will be able to see in the dark, and if you drink it, you can become invisible.


Bats, not vampire by Richard Jones

In ancient Greece and Rome, bats were believed to be an antidote to sleepiness. If one wanted to stay awake, one simply had to place a bat carving or an engraved figure of a bat under one’s pillow.

There are also beliefs that it is beneficial to place the skin or dried intestines of a bat in a child’s cradle. Some Native American tribes believe that this will allow the child to sleep peacefully throughout the day while others believe it will protect the child.

Up until the early 19th century, bats were nailed above doorways in parts of Europe. This was to ward off demons, ghosts and witches, as well as to keep mice away.

Bats have also been used in love potions. In the Middle Ages, it was recommended that one mix the powdered bones of a bat in a woman’s drink in order to gain her affection, while in ancient Rome, placing hardened bat’s blood under a woman’s pillow had the same effect.


This Was Bat Number 8 by Zeusandhera

In China, the word for “bat” is the same as that for “happiness” – fu. It is considered a symbol of good fortune there, as well as in Poland and some parts of the Middle East.

Some people carry bat hearts or bones wrapped in silk handkerchiefs as good luck charms, especially when playing cards or the lottery – a practice that is believed to have originated in Germany.

For Video Footage

You can watch videos and discover more about some of the bats in the book at the following webpages:

ipfactly.com/101-facts-bats/

ipfactly.com/vampire-bats/

Photo Credits

Photo01 Cluster of gray bats by USFWS Headquarters cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/5687793874/

Photo02 Parastrellus hesperus (canyon bat) by Hoarybat cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/danielpneal/11362433156/

Photo03 Common Fruit Bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) flying in Israel by MathKnight-at-TAU cc2.5

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PikiWiki_Israel_11327_Wildlife_and_Plants_of_Israel-Bat-003.jpg

Photo04 Bats flying into Texas sunset by USFWS Headquarters cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/9415984696/

Photo05 Myotis-myotis-skeleton by Mnolf cc3.0

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Myotis-myotis-skeleton.jpg

Photo06 Wing inspection by USFWS/Southeast cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/usfwssoutheast/6022379077/

Photo07 Indiana Bat Foot by USFWSmidwest cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest/8635062041/

Photo08 Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus by PD-USGov

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus.jpg

Photo09 Townsend’s big-eared bat by USFWS Headquarters cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/6009182505/

Photo10 Eating a proffered ground cricket before release by Hoarybat cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/danielpneal/11362515343/

Photo11 Small fruit bat eating papaya by Dave Lonsdale cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/davelonsdale/6438199605/

Photo12 Long Tongue Nectar Bat by robstephaustralia cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/robandstephanielevy/2213377785/

Photo13 Drinking water through a straw before release by Hoarybat cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/danielpneal/11362418296/

Photo14 Sleeping bats by YuvalH cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/yuvalh/128884128/

Photo15 Hibernating bats by Dolovis cc2.0

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hibernating_bats_(5600306069).jpg

Photo16 Bats near opening of cave at Bat Temple by amanderson2 cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/amanderson/3125097792/

Photo17 Samal’s Geoffroy’s Rousette fruit bats mating by Josh Aggars cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/londonlaunchpad/6098884516/

Photo18 Fruit bat with pup by allesok cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/allesok/449224019/

Photo19 Flying fox colony near Cairns Library by EpochCatcher cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/epochcatcher/9127107414/

Photo20 Fruit bat exposing tip of tongue by allesok cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/allesok/449224711/

Photo21 Egyptian fruitbat by Arpingstone

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Egyptian.fruitbat.arp.jpg

Photo22 Straw-colored fruit bat by LaggedOnUser cc2.0

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Straw-colored_fruit_bat_(4531327192).jpg

Photo23 Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bats at Lake Malawi National Park. Cape Maclear, Malawi by Hans Hillewaert cc3.0

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Epomophorus_wahlbergi.jpg

Photo24 Lesser bulldog bat (Noctilio albiventris) by Felineora cc3.0

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Noctilio_albiventris.jpg

Photo25 Fringe-lipped bat by Felineora cc3.0

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Trachops_cirrhosus.jpg

Photo26 Ectophylla alba (honduran white bat) in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica by Leyo cc2.5

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ectophylla_alba_Costa_Rica.jpg

Photo27 Little brown bat by USFWS Headquarters cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/7408990420/

Photo28 Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadaria braziliensis) by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters cc2.0

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mexican_free-tailed_bat_(8006856842).jpg

Photo29 Antrozous pallidus (pallid bat) by Hoarybat cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/danielpneal/11362385735/

Photo30 Taxidermied Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus) at the Natural History Museum in London by moke Dénes cc2.5

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Desmodus_rotundus_1.jpg

Photo31 Those aren’t big birds, sweetheart. They’re giant vampire bats by elbragon cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/elbragon/5524036782/

Photo32 Inside the cave- hardened bat guano by oldandsolo cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/shankaronline/9165592342/

Photo33 Bats, not vampire by Richard Jones cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/richard_jones/1884349206/

Photo34 This Was Bat Number 8, 8-8-08 by Zeusandhera cc2.0

www.flickr.com/photos/zeusandhera/2745375133/