Bats are the only mammals that are able to fly. Some mammals can glide, but no others can actually fly.
The fastest mammal on earth is the Mexican free-tailed bat. In 2016, researchers from the University of Tennessee discovered they could fly up to 100 mph!
There are over 1300 species of bat. There are 2 main types of bats: Megabats (Megachiroptera) and microbats (Microchiroptera). Megabats tend to be larger and include flying foxes and fruit bats and mainly eat fruit, nectar, or pollen. Microbats are usually smaller than megabats. Most microbats are insectivores. The vampire bat which survives on blood is also a microbat.
Bats play an extremely important part in the ecosystem. Bats eat tons of insects and help keep mosquito populations in check. They are also important pollinators and help spread seeds.
Getting rabies from bats is extremely rare. Most bats do not have rabies. There are only 1-2 cases per year in the United States. If you do get bitten by a bat, you should definitely go to the doctor and get a vaccination just in case!
Bats can see with their eyes. Some can’t see very well, but some larger bats have better eyesight than humans. They use their eyes to see things in the daytime. At night, they mainly use echolocation.
Bat droppings are also called guano. Their guano is high in potassium nitrate and is used as fertilizer. It can also be used to make gunpowder.
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