Bats are the only mammals that can fly. They fly like birds do-by beating the air with their wings. However, the bat’s wing is not like a bird’s wing at all. A bat’s wings are actually its forelimbs that have grown very long. The wing has no feathers- rather, a thin membrane stretches across the ‘fingers’.
The toes of the hind limbs are long, with curved claws that the bat uses for hang ing from trees. Bats feed on insects in the evening. Because bats sleep during the day and are active at night, they are called ‘nocturnal’. They sleep upside down and use their feet to grasp onto a twig or board. When it is cold, they hang close together.
There are more than 1000 species of bats in the world, and they are found in every continent except Antarctica. Like other mammals, they give birth to live babies. The babies feed on their mother’s milk. Many bats have adaptations that let them find their way and their prey – in complete darkness!
Flying fox bat:- Flying foxes are a
species of fruit bat. As you might have guessed, their diet consists mainly of fruits. They are named flying foxes because of their fox-like heads and red dish brown fur. There are over 160 species of flying fox found widely through South East Asia and North East Australia, where they inhabit tropical rainforests.
Like most bats, the flying fox is nocturnal, and roosts in trees during the day in large groups called ‘camps’ which may contain thousands of individuals. They sleep hanging from branches by their feet, and keep themselves cool by fanning themselves with their large wings. They are the largest bats – some attain a wingspan of one metre.
Vampire Bats:- A vampire is the only bat-and the only mammal- that feeds on blood. It preys on cattle, horses, large birds and pigs. Vampire bats don’t suck animals’ blood. They make a small hole with their two very sharp incisor teeth, and lap up the blood. The bat does not take enough blood to harm the animal- but the very fact that it drinks blood scares most people!