Bats differ from each other in size, diet and habitat, but almost all species of such mammals are nocturnal. There are many legends, fairy tales and legends about these animals.
In the 600s BC. e. The Greek fabulist Aesop told a fable about a bat who borrowed money to start his own business. This plan of the bat failed, and she was forced to hide throughout the day so as not to catch the eye of those from whom she asked for money. According to Aesop’s legend, these mammals became active only at night.
Scientists have discovered that the anticoagulant that is in the saliva of a vampire bat can be used in the future in the treatment of people with heart disease. Also, scientists from all over the world tried to “copy” the enzymes that were in the saliva of a vampire bat to prevent a heart attack.
1. Bats are among the most ancient inhabitants on the planet. According to research results, the first fruit bats appeared on Earth more than 50 million years ago. With evolution, these mammals have not changed outwardly.
2. One small bat eats up to 600 mosquitoes per hour. If you approximate this to human weight, then this portion is equivalent to 20 pizzas. At the same time, bats do not have obesity. Their metabolism is so fast that they can completely digest a serving of mangoes, bananas or berries in 20 minutes.
3. Unlike birds, in which the swing is carried out by the entire forelimb, bats wave their own spread fingers.
4. The main sense organ that allows bats to navigate in space is hearing. These mammals also use echolocation. They perceive sounds at frequencies inaccessible to humans, which are then translated into echoes.
5. Bats are not blind. Many of them see perfectly, and some species are even sensitive to ultraviolet radiation.
6. Bats are nocturnal, and in the daytime they sleep upside down, falling into a stupor.
7. Bats have long been considered sinister and mysterious creatures, because they inhabit places that cause fear in people. In addition, they appear only at nightfall and disappear at dawn.
8. In fact, blood-drinking bats of the vampire subfamily are not found in Europe. They live only in South and Central America. Such vampire mice drink the blood of large animals and birds, but sometimes they attack sleeping people. They are not able to fast for longer than 2 days. These bats search for their prey using special infrared receptors, and they also hear the breath of their prey.
9. The wings of bats are formed by finger bones, which are covered with thin skin. The membranes on the wings of such animals occupy approximately 95% of their body. Thanks to them, the bat regulates body temperature, blood pressure, gas exchange and water balance of its body.
10. In Japan and China, the bat – it is a symbol of happiness. In Chinese, the word “bat” and “luck” sound the same.
11. Many people assume that such animals live for 10-15 years. But some species of bats live up to 30 years in the wild.
12. Bats can change their body temperature by 50 degrees. During the hunt, their metabolism slows down somewhat, and these warm-blooded animals can freeze to the state of icicles.
13. The smallest bat, the pig-nosed bat, weighed 2 grams, and the largest specimen of the golden-crowned fox weighed 1600 grams.
14. The wingspan of such mammals reaches from 15 to 170 cm.
15. Despite its small size, the bat has no natural predators in nature. The biggest health hazard to these mammals comes from “white nose syndrome”. This disease kills millions of bats every year. This type of disease is caused by a fungus that infects the wings and muzzle of bats at the time of their hibernation.
16. Like cats, bats clean themselves. They spend a lot of time maintaining personal hygiene. Some varieties of bats even groom each other. In addition to cleaning their own body from dirt, bats fight parasites in this way.
17. Bats live on every continent except Antarctica. They live everywhere from the Arctic Circle to Argentina.
18. Bats’ heads turn 180 degrees and their hind limbs are turned backward with their knees.
19. Bracken Cave, located in the United States of America, is home to the largest colony of bats in the world. Approximately 20 million individuals live there, which is practically equal to the number of residents of Shanghai.
20. Many adult bats have only 1 baby per year. All newborn babies are fed milk from birth to 6 months. It is at this age that they become the size of their parents.
21. Bats – harvest rescuers. Thanks to them, insects that threaten the crop are destroyed. Bats save landowners up to $4 billion a year in this way.
22. Bats have their own holiday. It is celebrated annually in September. The initiators of this event were environmentalists. So they tried to keep people from forgetting that these mammals need to be protected.
23. Some seeds never germinate unless they pass through the digestive system of bats. Bats spread millions of seeds that enter their stomachs from ripening fruits. Approximately 95% of the restored tropical forests have grown due to these animals.
24. When eared bats enter hibernation, they perform 18 heartbeats per minute, compared to 880 heartbeats when awake.
25. Fruit bat meat is considered a traditional food in Guam. Hunting for these creatures has brought their numbers to the point that they are included in the list of endangered species. The habit of eating bats in the kingdom of Guam has remained even now, and therefore bat meat is imported there from abroad.
26. Even in the coldest time, bats warm themselves without anyone. They have large wings, and therefore they can easily surround their entire body with them. As a result of this, complete isolation occurs, which does not allow these animals to freeze even in severe frosts.
27. The squeak emitted by bats does not always come from their mouths. Many such creatures squeak with their nostrils.
28. Bats always obey their own leader.
29. Bat excrement is called “guano” and in many tropical regions – this is a fairly popular fertilizer with a huge content of nitrogen and phosphorus.
30.To date, approximately 1100 species of bats have been recorded, thanks to which they occupy a fourth of the entire class of mammals.