Bat Facts

Bat with Wings Spread Wide.jpg1. There are about 1,000 different types of bats. This accounts for nearly 20% of the total number of species of mammals.

2. Bats are the only mammal that can fly.

3. Contrary to popular belief, bats are not blind. In fact, many species of bats have very good eyesight.

4. While it is not typical, some bats have been recorded to live more than 30 years.

5. There are three species of vampire bats in the world and they all live in South America and Central America.

6. Vampire bats lap up blood – they don’t suck it. They will often bite an animal, such as a cow, and then lick the blood out of the wound.

7. Bats have the same propensity for contracting rabies as any other mammal. However, they are less likely to transmit rabies. Since they are such small mammals, the disease often kills them before they become aggressive to the point of biting a person or animal to pass it on to them.

8. Bats have an extremely high metabolism rate. They can digest fruits, such as mangoes and bananas, in as little as 20 minutes.

9. Bats are found in most places around the world, excluding extreme desert climates and extreme cold climates.

10. Depending on the size of the bat, the gestation period can range anywhere from about 40 days to 6 months. The larger bats have a longer gestation period than the smaller sized bats.

11. The largest colony of bats is found at the Bracken Bat Cave in Texas. There are more than 20 million bats living there and they can eat more than 200 tons of bugs in a single night.

12. Bats are responsible for about 95% of the reforestation in the tropical rainforests. They eat seeds which pass through their digestive system and then they are dispersed in the land where they take root and grow.

13. About 30% of all bat species eat fruit. The other 70% eats insects.

14. Bat feces was used during the US Civil War for making gunpowder.

15. The Animal Planetnetwork once did a poll and found that bats were third on the list of most feared animals. The first two were wolves and gorillas.

16. Bats sleep upside down so they can quickly fly away if necessary.

17. The only vampire bats living in the United States are in captivity.

18. The largest bats on earth are the Giant Golden Crowned Flying Fox. They can grow to be about 5 feet long and weigh as much as 3 pounds.

19. Despite what many people believe, bats are not a part of the rodent family.

20. Bats have unusually large tongues that are wound around their rib cage when they are not in use.

21. Compared to other animals their size, bats are the slowest reproducing mammals in the world. They only give birth to one pup, or baby bat, each year.

22. At the time of its birth, a newborn bat weighs about 25% of the weight of its mother. That would be like a human mother having a baby that weighs over 30 pounds.

23. Vampire bats are the only mammals that only live on blood.

24. There are some white-winged vampire bats that will pretend to be baby chickens. They will curl themselves up to hens and then feed on their blood once they are in a good position.

25. One species of bat – the mouse-eared bat – has a heartbeat of 880 beats per minute when it is active. But when it is in hibernation, their heartbeat drops to fewer than 20 beats per minute.