Batman and Batcave are not about real Bats. Neither is Batman’s Phobia to Bats is real; it’s a reel thing. For centuries people have feared bats. They have a terrible reputation for being creatures that lurk at night. The reference that they are vampires has been deeply seeded into various cultures and that further instills fear. Such stories and recommendations have been passed along for generations keeping the fear factor alive. It’s about time that we learn about Bats, and let our children know too that Bats are loving creators. They live in large colonies, do not fight for space, and the mother Bats are excellent caregivers and carry the baby for about the first six weeks of life. Most importantly, bat plays an essential role in many ecosystems. They help to keep the populations of insects and bugs from getting too high. Bats play a crucial role in the pollination process. They help with the pollination of flowers and to distribute fruit seeds.
So let’s debunk the cruelty in Bats myth and know more factual information about Bats:
There are more than 1,200 species of bats in the world.
70% of bats consume insects and small bugs for food. The other 30% consume various types of fruit. Only a small number of bats feed on blood.
Bats seem to do very well living in various environments. Therefore they are found in almost every location in the world.
The smallest bats are the Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat and they weigh less than an ounce. They are about 1 ½ inches long. The largest bats in the world are the Giant Golden Crowned Flying Fox. They weigh about 3 pounds and can be close to 5 feet long.
Due to the look of bats, they are sometimes mistaken for being a member of therodent family. Terms including flying rodent and flying rats can be found in many writings. However, DNA evidence proves that they aren’t part of the rodent family at all.
Bats are mammals. They use echolocation to be able to hear and to communicate. This is why they can find their prey in complete darkness without any difficulty.
Some species of bats don’t see well at all but others have the ability to see long ranges. They can even detect ultraviolet lighting.
The wings of bats are made up of cartilage with small amounts of calcium. The bones are similar to human fingers but they are more flexible.
Merkel cells are found in the wings of bats. These areas are highly sensitive to touch.
The shape of the bat wings will vary based on the wind direction and speed.
Bats do need to drink water, and some of them can to it while in flight.
The bat has a very long tongue that it uses for feeding and pollination. When not in use the tongue is wound up around the rib cage.
Bats usually breed in the spring time. A female can have one, two, or three litters though during that period of time. There is usually only one young born at a time. The wings of young bats aren’t fully developed at birth.
The typical life span for a bat is approximately 20 years.
While bats typically do sleep during the day, they also take part in some other activities. This includes grooming, and socializing with each other.
Bats you can see in the UAE ,at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve are:
- Egyptian Fruit Bat
- Trident Leaf-nosed Bat
- Persian Leaf-nosed Bat
- Naked-bellied Tomb Bat
- Desert Long-eared Bat
- Kuhls Pipistrelle
- Arabian Pipistrelle
Sad part is that humans are a threat to bats. Flying fox bats are captured for their meat and they are used to prepare food that is demanded in parts of Papua New Guinea.
Feature picture source: Australian Bat Clinic & Wildlife Trauma Centre