Amazing Bat Facts

  The world's smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat of Thailand, weighing less than a penny.
   Giant flying foxes that live in Indonesia have wingspans of nearly six feet.
   The common little brown bat of North America is the world's longest lived mammal for its size, with life-spans sometimes exceeding 32 years.
   Mexican free-tailed bats sometimes fly up to two miles high to feed or to catch tail-winds that carry them over long distances at speeds of more than 60 miles per hour.
   The pallid bat of western North America is immune to the stings of scorpions and even the seven-inch centipedes upon which it feeds.
   Fishing bats have echolocation so sophisticated that they can detect a minnow's fin as fine as a human hair, protruding only two millimeters above a pond's surface.
   African heart-nosed bats can hear the footsteps of a beetle walking on sand from a distance of more than six feet.
   Red bats that live in tree foliage throughout most of North America can withstand body temperatures as low as 23 degrees F. during winter hibernation.
   Tiny woolly bats in West Africa live in the large webs of colonial spiders.
   The Honduran white bat is snow white with a yellow nose and ears. It cuts large leaves to make "tents" that protect its small colonies from jungle rains.
   Disk-winged bats of Latin America have adhesive disks on both wings and feet that enable them to live in unfurling banana leaves (or even walk up a window pane!).
   Frog-eating bats identify edible from poisonous frogs by listening to the mating calls of male frogs. Frogs counter by hiding and using short, difficult to locate calls.
   Vampire bats adopt orphans and have been known to risk their lives to share food with less fortunate roost-mates.
   Male epauletted bats have pouches in their shoulders which contain large, showy patches of white fur that they flash during courtship to attract mates.
   Mother Mexican free-tailed bats find and nurse their own young, even in huge colonies where many millions of babies cluster at up to 500 per square foot.


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