15 Interesting Facts About Bats You've Never Heard Before!

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We have compiled interesting facts about bats, which have around 1200 species, so that you will know more about them than the fact that they are the only flying mammals. There is so much more to them:

1. The biggest known bat cave is in Texas.

There are more than 20 million bats living in Bracken Bat Cave. When the bats leave the cave, it looks like there is a huge storm. The bats in this cave consume around 200 tons of insects per night.

2. They usually sleep and rest upside down.

Although they spend the day sleeping, resting and sometimes even fighting, at night bats' activity increases. During the night, they fly in their caves, eat and drink water.  After having their first meal, they rest some more and have their second meal.

3. A small bat colony consumes more than a ton of insects per year.

Different species of bats take different nourishment. While most of the bat species live on insects, some others rely on fruits, pollen and blood. A couple of species are carnivorous and they eat frogs, lizards and birds.

4. Thanks to them, farmers get to save 1 million dollars per year.

Just by getting rid of the insects that come to the cucumbers in the summer, they save farmers from spending money on pesticides, which means they consume around 33 million insect larva.

5. The vampire bats, which prey on blood, can transmit the rabies virus to you if they are carrying it.

Vampire bats find nourishment in the bloods of wild mammals such as gazelle, cattle, horse, etc. They rarely bite humans. Although their bite doesn't directly cause any harm, it can cause viral and serious secondary infections.

6. If a vampire bat bites you once, it might pay you another visit later.

Vampire bats, who rarely bite humans, go to the same person at night for more food. Scientists state that bats can detect and differentiate between people through breathing.

7. They actually don't suck blood.

Instead of sucking, they drink the blood by licking it with their tongues. Two tea spoons of blood is enough for a night. The blood travels through the two canals located under the tongue of bats. Their body only uses the red blood cells and they get rid of the plasma in their urine.

8. They do know about oral sex!

Scientists argue that the short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx), performs oral sex on the male copulation organ in order to mate. This behavior, which was seen for the first time in Bonobo Apes, is thought to be preferred, because it brings some kind of  evolutionary advantage.

9. Females resort to birth control!

This is mostly seen in those who are in hibernation. Some female bats can store the sperm and delay impregnation. They can also delay the development of the embryo if the impregnation has already taken place. Other than that, in many bat colonies, females give birth at the same time.

10. Sight is less important compared to other senses.

No, bats aren't blind; actually, many bats have great sight. Some can perceive some ultraviolet lights. Apart from that, they are capable of finding their way using echoes. They emit ultrasonic screams through their mouths and noses and with the echo, they find the insects that they live on!

11. In addition to the ultrasonic sounds, they are able to use other sounds for communication.

Most bats give birth to only one baby per year. A mother relies on both ultrasonic and other kinds of sounds to be able to find her baby. Bat ears are very active and very sensitive to sound. The tragus, which is a lobe that extends in front of the ear hole, could have auditory function; however nobody knows its function for sure.

12. Yes, they can swim!

Although there is little data on this topic, upon their observations, some nature scientists concluded that when bats are in stress or in difficult situations, they can swim. They use their feet and wings to swim!

13. In Chinese, the word "fu" means bat, but also happiness!

While western cultures usually associate bats with concepts such as bad luck, filth, and disease, in the Far East bats symbolize happiness and good luck. That's the reason we come across them a lot in art, which is also something that gives happiness!

14. The bats that live on nectar have a specifically developed tongue to reach the nectar.

Anoura fistulata, which eats nectar, has a way longer tongue than any other mammal when compared with body length. They hide their tongue in their rib cage when they aren't using it.

15. The membrane of the bats' wings makes up 95% of their total body surface.

Their wings consist of the thin skin of their finger bones. They use their wings to regulate their body heat, blood pressure, water balance and gas exchange as well.

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