Bats are animals from the family of bats that live around the world. There are hundreds of different kinds of bats living in caves and forests, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. The body of this animal is covered by a short coat, which on the abdomen is usually lighter. They have a small pointed muzzle with large eyes. Forearms and short humerus are very developed and equipped with sufficiently powerful muscles. The main feature of these animals are membranous leathery wings, which simultaneously represent the forelimbs. At rest they tightly press against the body. The wings consist of a double layer of skin and are provided with blood vessels and tendons.
The size of the bats varies depending on the species, but some bats can have a wingspan of more than 2 meters, for example the Indonesian giant flying fox! And the smallest species can reach a body size of only 2 centimeters. For example, a bat bumblebee living in the jungles of Thailand is the smallest mammal in the world and weighs less than a penny-coin!
These animals are nocturnal. In the afternoon they sleep, clawed on their paws behind the arch of the place where they live, and hanging upside down. Bats hunt at night, using their exceptionally thin rumor to smell their prey, usually insects, frogs and small rodents. But there are separate species that feed on small fish or even attack other members of the bats family. But the favorite food of most species are mosquitoes, which they catch hundreds in the night sky.
They do not build nests, but usually settle in caves, crevices of rocks, abandoned buildings, large hollows of trees.
Caves in Malaysia, in the state of Sarawak, on the tropical island of Borneo, are particularly famous for seeing thousands of bats. Ironically, the huge amounts of bat manure (known as guano), is one of the things that attracts so many people to bats! The fact is that it is used as an effective fertilizer. Bats are social animals. Most species live in large flocks. They communicate with each other with the help of special sound signals.
Some species of bats are able to fly to a very high altitude. They sometimes rise to a distance of half a kilometer above the ground! They have a hearing so well developed that they can hear the steps of a living creature from a kilometer distance. Bats also have an amazing property, known as echolocation. This property is that the animal produces special supersonic sounds. Like waves, they fend off obstacles that are encountered on their way, and living and non-living objects act as barriers. So the bat, in order to find prey, uses sounds that are reflected back to it.
In winter, these animals fall into a state of suspended animation, that is, they become stiff in the hanging position. At this time they have slowed down all life processes, so that the bat could live to spring.
Bats multiply once a year, usually a female gives birth to a single calf and feeds it with milk from its mammary glands until it is strong enough to take care of itself.
Unlike most animal species, bats live in virtually any environment around the world, excluding the polar regions.
Despite all the myths that you may have heard, only three kinds of bats feed on the blood of animals, and they all live in the deep jungles of South America, not in Transylvania. Blood-fed bats are called vampires. They suck the blood of vertebrates – small mammals and birds.
Bats represent some danger due to the fact that they suffer several types of infectious diseases, of which the most dangerous is rabies.