Bats Scientific Name: Varies
All About Bats
Bats are often known for and associated with fictional characters, be it the villainous Dracula or the heroic Batman. These fictional correlations are inspired by the nocturnal nature of bats as well as their reputations of dark, brooding or even magical associations. While this creature is a well-known mammal, this furry-winged creature is also known as a liminal being due to its ability to fly. Many people have a fear of being attacked by bats, though this fear is mostly irrational. It is uncommon for these animals to attack humans or even get close enough to be seen. These creatures often stay close to their homes in caves, abandoned buildings and other large, dark crevices.
Bats can even be considered cute creatures when observed closely. They have small, detailed features and almost look like chihuahuas, with a small, snubbed facial structure, large doting eyes and petite features. These mostly friendly and social creatures can even make for attentive pets, though they are rarely kept as such.
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Most bats can be found living all across the world. Most tend to live in warm and humid climates including southern Mexico, Brazil and Paraguay. These creatures typically flourish in tropical areas with lush vegetation. In these environments, bats usually live in one of two groups. The first group is called a harem, and is usually a small group of adult females with their young. One male typically accompanies the harem. The second group is known as a bachelor group, consisting of many males living together with one single sub-female.
These animals build and live in roosts, which closely resemble bird nests. These roosts can typically be observed in homes in the evening hours when the bats hunt for prey. However, human habitations are a rare choice for bats, and the creatures are much more likely to build their roosts in caves, hollowed out trees and inside dark crevices. They are nocturnal and leave their roosts in the evening just as the sun sets and return at first light.
What bats eat may surprise you. Check out our what do bats eat? page.
Life Cycle of Bats
Many bats typically breed in the early springtime or when the warmer weather arrives. Some may migrate to warmer climates in order to afford fresh fruit and vegetation for the offspring to feed on. A female bat may give birth to one, two or three litters each mating season but this can vary depending on the species in question and other variable environmental factors.
Much like humans, the female will usually only give birth to one pup at a time and this pup will be her responsibility until it reaches maturity. If two pups are born, as sometimes happens, the pups are known as twins. Nursing will take place from birth until the pup is almost fully mature and is able to hunt for itself. This is usually dictated by the development of the pups wings and its ability to fly.
Delayed fertilization is common in certain species of bat, but is very rare for the general mammal population. This method of impregnation usually takes place with a breeding in the late fall. The female then carries the male's sperm until the springtime, at which time she becomes pregnant in the season of greatest abundance. This enables the mother to more easily feed herself and her young during the first few weeks after birth. This stage of a pup's life will continue for approximately six weeks before it becomes independent. Adult lifespans vary greatly among the different species; some bats live only a few years, while others last for decades.
Bats and Humans
Bats are wonderful pollinators of fruit, trees and crops. Due to their diet and ability to fly, they are able to disperse seeds over great distances. Though bats are useful in nature and generally very passive, many people view these critters as pests.
Bats are harmless for the most part, though they do possess the power to cause structural damage or pose a sanitation threat if not correctly managed. The guano and urine from these animals also tend to attract nasty pests, such as cockroaches, ticks, and mites.
Bats can be a very beneficial part of the ecosystem. Bat control is needed when these pests decide to make your home their home. Bats can carry diseases and cause harm not only to your families health but can cause great damage to your house. Please visit our bat control and learn about exclusion methods.
Bats Scientific Name: Varies
Bats are Animalia and are part of the Chordata phylum. They belong to the order of the Chiroptera. They are typically winged creatures who are commonly identifiable in spite of their varied species. Interestingly, these creatures fly, not by flapping their wings, but by using their digits.
The smallest of these animals is the Kitti's Hog-nosed bat, which is an inch long. The largest is the Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox which is over 13 inches.
The variations of roosts can greatly affect the life cycle and habitat of these critters. The roost is the central location of social organization, reproductive cycles and diet. By studying a roost, much can be learned about the bats that live within. Changes of environment can directly affect the pups, life expectancy and size of a group.