What do Bats Eat?
If you’ve ever wondered what do bats eat, you might be surprised. The diet of bats varies greatly depending on the species and the environment. Most species of bats are carnivorous, and specialize in eating insects. Insect-eating bats are the most common bats experienced in the United States. Areas with high concentrations of mosquitoes and other flying pests attract bat populations. Bats can eat between 2,000 – 3,000 insects a night. They are capable of catching insects in midflight, as well as on the ground. Bats hunt at night, and locate their food using echolocation, which involves sensing the rebound of high-pitched squeaks, much like a radar system.
Some bats have evolved to eat smaller vertebrate animals, such as mice, fish, lizards, and frogs. However, none of these bats live in the United States. There are only three species of bats that drink the blood of hosts, and they all live in South America.
Several of the larger species of bats have evolved to eat fruit and drink the nectar of flowers. Nectar feeding bats have adapted to the flowers of cacti, and can be found on the Texas-Arizona border. They are capable of hovering in front of a plant, much like a hummingbird, and have long tongues that are able to reach deep into flowers. Fruit eating bats, such as the flying fox, are found only in the tropics.
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