it is another lovely day to talk about another amazing creature, the bat. Apart from scientists and other enthusiasts, I believe I'm yet another crazy person who is interested in these animals. I've been doing some research and I would like to share some few amazing facts about bats.
Imagine bats are the only mammals that can fly. Bats are the only mammal that can truly fly (rather than glide). Their wings are actually hands that have adapted for flight, which means they are very flexible and able to move independently. This fantastic maneuverability arguably makes bats better at flying than birds! They are also among the only mammals known to feed on blood well excluding some very funny and peculiar humans called cannibals. Common misconceptions and fears about bats have led many people to regard the creatures as unclean disease carriers, but bats are actually very helpful in controlling the population of crop-destroying insects.
There are more than 900 species of bats in the world. Some experts estimate the number to be as high as 1,200 species. Bats make up one-fifth of the mammal population on Earth, according to Bat Conservation International.
Many bat species around the world are threatened with extinction. The Red List from the International Union for Conservation of Nature identifies more than 250 species as endangered, vulnerable or "near threatened."Bulmer's fruit bat is the world's most endangered bat. It is only found in one cave in Papua New Guinea. According to the Red List, there are only around 160 individuals left in this colony.
A fungus that causes a disease called white-nose syndrome has devastated bats in North America. This white, powdery-looking fungus, a member of a group of cold-loving fungi called Geomyces, coats the muzzles, ears, and wings of bats and has meant death for hundreds of thousands of the animals in the northeastern United States.
how bats hear
"As blind as a bat, we all know that simile", well they aren't actually blind. Bats "see" as well as humans do use a unique process called echolocation. In layman's language, this process is simply described as locating objects using echoes. The animals make high-frequency yells and analyze the location of objects around them by perceiving how the sound bounces back off the object. The angle at which sound bounces back can tell the bat the object's size.
This process is so amazing that it enables some horseshoe bats to hover and pluck insects from spider webs, poor spiders, cool isn't it ?
Echolocation wasn’t something that they were able to do approximately 52 million years ago. I would love to expound more on this but its a rather complicated process, if you are interested then go google about this amazing phenomenon.This process is also used by sub-marines and dolphines.
Bats live all over the world, except for some islands, and the Arctic and Antarctica. They mostly prefer warmer areas that are closer to the equator, and they can be found in rain forests, mountains, farmland, woods, and cities.
Bats have two strategies for weathering the cold. Some migrate to warmer areas, while others go into torpor. In this short-term form of hibernation, a bat reduces its metabolic rate, lowers its body temperature, and slows its breathing and heart rate. Bats roost in trees, caves, mines, and barns — anyplace that provide shelter from the weather, protection from predators and seclusion for rearing the animals' young.
Most bats eat flowers, small insects, fruits, nectar, pollen, and leaves, though it depends on the type of bat. Megabats usually eat fruits, and microbats generally eat insects. Vampire bats like a juice of a different type, though. They do indeed drink blood, mainly from cattle and deer, but they don't suck blood like the legends say. Rather, they make a V-shaped cut and then lick up the blood.
how bats do it (Mating)
Bats have some unique mating behaviors not seen in other animals. Male and female bats meet in hibernation sites, called hibernacula, where they breed. "Bats 'swarm' around in huge numbers, chasing each other and performing spectacular aerobatics. They do it in private like cats, genius isn't it?
why bats hang upside down
I know you are wondering why bats hang upside down. First of all, it puts them in an ideal position for takeoff funny enough they can't launch themselves from the ground. By assuming this position it helps them fall to flight since they don't have strong legs to help them pick up speed and their wings can't generate the necessary energy needed for taking off.
Bats have a unique physiological adaptation that lets them hang around this way without exerting any energy. If you want to clench your fist around an object, you must contract several muscles in your arm, which are connected to your fingers by tendons. As one muscle contracts, it pulls a tendon, which pulls one of your fingers closed. A bat's talons close in the same way, except that their tendons are connected only to the upper body, not to a muscle. To hang upside down, a bat flies into position, pulls its claws open with other muscles and finds a surface to grip. To get the talons to grab hold of the surface, the bat simply lets its body relax. The weight of the upper body pulls down on the tendons connected to the talons, causing them to clench. The talon joints lock into position, and the bat's weight keeps them closed.
Consequently, the bat doesn't have to do anything to hang upside down. It only has to exert energy to release its grip, flexing muscles that pull its talons open. Since the talons remain closed when the bat is relaxed, a bat that dies while roosting will continue to hang upside down until something (another bat, for example) jostles it loose.
There are 3 species of vampire bats which feed solely on blood.
An anticoagulant in vampire bat saliva has been adapted for use in increasing blood flow in patients with stroke or heart disease.
Researchers have found that female short-nosed fruit bats perform oral sex on their mates to prolong the act; male Indian flying foxes do the same thing to females now this amazing.