Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Fun: Going Batty!

In honor of the publication of A Place for Bats here are some fascinating bat facts. Enjoy!
  • No one knows exactly how many kinds of bats live on Earth. So far, scientists have discovered more than 1,100 different species.
  • Forty-five kinds of bats live in North America. Seven of them are on the endangered species list—gray bats, Indiana bats, Ozark, big-eared bats, Virginia big-eared bats, lesser long-nosed bats, Mexican long-nosed bats, and Hawaiian hoary bats.

  • Almost all of the bats in North America and 70 percent of bats worldwide eat insects. But some bats eat fruit, nectar, fish, frogs, lizards, and birds.

  • Blood-sucking vampire bats in Central and South America usually feed on chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. Sometimes they drink blood from pigs, cattle, and horses.

  • Bats are the only mammals that can fly. The big brown bat is the world’s fastest bat. It can cruise through the air at forty miles per hour.

  • The Philippine bamboo bat is the smallest bat on Earth. It’s about the size of a bumblebee. The flying fox is the world’s largest bat. It’s as long as two loaves of bread placed end to end, and its wings can stretch 5 feet.

  • Bats can live up to twenty years. Most female bats have one pup each year, but western red bats can have up to four babies at once.

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