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Norma Venable Program Specialist - Retired

Dec. 1999

BATS

Bats are beneficial. They eat insects and pollinate plants and play an important role in keeping ecosystems healthy and in balance. Many myths are associated with bats, such as the saying “blind as a bat.” This isn’t true. Bats can see quite well. Another myth is that bats get caught in people’s hair. They don’t. Nor are bats destructive pests like rats and mice. In fact, a colony of bats could cut down on unwanted mosquitoes around

Bats are unique animals. Here are some interesting facts about bats:

  • There are nearly 1,000 species of bats in the world. However, bats are basically tropical animals and only about 40 kinds of bats live in North America.

Bats have been around a long time, since

the age of dinosaurs.

Ancient bats

resembled those living today.

Except for

the most extreme desert and regions, bats today live in almost kind of habitat worldwide.

polar every

your house and help keep your garden free of insects.

Bats are useful animals and the best protection for them is for us to learn more about them. Browse this Web page to learn more about these subjects relating to bats:

  • interesting facts about bats

  • what bats really are

  • insect-eating bats and how bats catch prey by echolocation

  • bat biology and lifestyles

  • bats and rabies

  • bats in houses--use of bat boxes

  • bat conservation

  • description of the 13 species of bats found in West Virginia

  • where to learn more about bats.

The Honduran

white

bat, a colorful

snow-white bat

with

yellow nose and

ears, cuts

large leaves to

make “tents” to

protect its

small colonies

from drenching

jungle rains.

  • Bats eat a variety of foods from flower nectar to fish, small mammals, and insects. Bats also come in an array of colors and sizes and shapes. The spotted bat, which lives in Texas, is black with

Bats have some amazing abilities:

Fishing

bats

have

an

echolocation

system so minnow’s

sophisticated they can detect a fin as fine as a human hair.

Hibernating little brown bats can stop

breathing for hibernation to

almost

an

hour

during

reduce their energy needs.

Mexican

free-tailed

bats

can

fly

10,000

feet can

high. pluck

Townsend’s-big eared bats

insects

from

foliage.

1

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