The more we learn about bats in preparation for our Llew Mejia release, the more fascinated we are. I want one as a pet, even though I know I shouldn’t, because of conservation. But I’m just saying… I want a pet bat. Hypothetically.
Here are some truly incredible facts about Chiroptera (BATS):
• Bats are the only mammal that can sustain flight. Some squirrels, lemurs and even primates can exhibit gliding or parachuting, but bats are the only mammal that has evolved, powerful flight.
• Bats have lived in almost every habitat on earth.
• The smallest mammal on earth is a bat! The Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat, also known as the bumblebee bat, weighs about as much as a dime and has a wingspan of just a few inches. I hesitate to say it, because it’s a bit cliche to say this about little things.. but… cute! Cute tiny bats!
• The largest species of bat is the Giant Golden Crowned Flying Fox, whose wingspan can reach up to six feet! The closest thing to a gargoyle you can get.
• The Little Brown Bat can eat as many as 1,200 mosquitos in 1 night. As we head into bug season again, this really sells me on the idea of a pet bat.
• Some bats can live for as long as 30 years. That’s longer than your average cat, dog or horse.
• While only a few species of bats sustain life by consuming blood, they don’t suck it. They lick or lap at it.
• 70% of bat species prefer insects however. The other diets enjoyed by bat species include fruit, nectar, small mammals, birds, lizards, frogs and even fish!
• A quarter of known mammal species are bats.
• Sadly, many species of bat have gone extinct, and many more are endangered or vulnerable to becoming so. The main reasons are loss of habitat, but the rise in the use of insecticide (which eliminates large amount of food) also plays a factor. Bats are also vulnerable to disease. 5.7 to 6.7 million bats in North America have died due to White Nose syndrome, a fungus that affects hibernating bats.
Be nice to bats.