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JOHN AND SARAH FREE MATERIALS (C) 2013
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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BATS

Picture of a bat

1

There are about 1240 species of bats scattered all around the world (except the Antarctica), they account for about 20% of all mammals! They love warm weather, so the most densely populated areas are around the tropics. Others might migrate towards the Equator in cold seasons, or hybernate until spring brings warmth and food again. Bats are one of the longest-lived mammals for their size, they can live up to 20 years! Bats have an insatiable hunger. Their digestive system enables them to eat almost non-stop, consuming nearly 50% of their body weight each night.

2

Most bats have limited eyesight, instead, they communicate with echolocation. A series of high-pitched sounds, inaudible to us, humans, bounce off solid objects and return to the bat. This way they perceive an extremely detailed image of their environment.

3

Vampire bats, unlike vampires, do not suck blood! They have tiny, extremely sharp teeth with which they pierce the skin of animals or humans! One can't sense the bite at all. Vampire bats lap the blood up but they never suck.. Their saliva contains an anti-clotting agent which thins the blood and make it coagulate slower. The discovery of these anti-clotting agents lead to medical experiments which resulted in similar medications for stroke or heart patients! Vampire bats might adopt orphans, and they are one of the few mammals known to risk their own lives to share food with their less fortunate mates.

4

Brown bats can catch around a thousand insects in an hour! An amazing example is that of Bracken Cave in Texas. 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats eat about 200 tons of insects. Every night!!!!

Little brown bats might hibernate for up to 7 months. They can reduce their heartbeat to 20 BPM. They also can stop breathing for about an hour to conserve energy. However, if they are disturbed and awakened too many times, they might run out of energy, and not survive until spring comes.

5

The world's smallest mammal is actually a bat that lives in Thailand. The bumblebee bat is about 3cm (1.2”) small and weighs about 1.5 - 3 grams (the same as a dime, or a penny).

Some bats act as pollinators for plants. Mexican long-tongued bats pollinate agave plants. Without them the production of agave seed would be 3000 times less. What do we use agave seeds for? To produce Tequila!

6

The biggest bats in the world are flying foxes, or also known as fruit bats. Living in the tropics they have access to abundant resources of nectar, blossom, pollen and fruit. They do not use echolocation, instead, their smell and eyesight are very well-developed. The size of a fully grown flying fox is enormous. Imagine your cat with giant wings, each of the size of a 30 inch TV!! Yes! An Indonesian large flying fox can have a wingspan of about 1.8 m, 6 feet!!!

Instructions for teachers

Infomation sources



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bats
http://animal.discovery.com/mammals/13-incredible-bat-facts.htm
http://www.batrescue.org/batfacts/batfacts.html
http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/bat.html
http://weirdfacts.com/animal-facts/3245-bat-facts.html
http://www.about-bats.com/bat-facts.html
http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/animals/news-10-terrifying-facts-about-bats?image=6


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