October is Bat Appreciation Month. This fits in well with Halloween. More importantly, bats are a vital part of our environmental well-being. So thank a bat and celebrate with some bat humor and facts…
Q: What's a bats favorite desert?
Q: How do you write a book about bats?
A: With a ghostwriter.
Q: Did you hear about the two bats meeting?
A: It was love at first bite.
Q: Why did the vampire need mouthwash?
A: Because he had bat breath.
Q: Where do bats keep their money?
A: The blood bank.
Q: How do bats tell their future?
A: They read their horrorscope.
Q: What did the grape say when the bat squished on it?
A: Nothing, it just let out a little wine.
Q: What is the first thing that bats learn at school?
A: The alphabat.
- Bats are flying mammals.
- While others can glide, bats are the only mammals capable of continued flight.
- There are over 1000 different bat species.
- Bats ‘see’ in the dark using a special skill called echolocation. Bats make noises and wait for the sound waves to bounce back off objects (an echo). If it doesn’t bounce back then they can safely fly forward. They can tell the distance of various objects by how quickly the sound waves bounce back to them. A bat’s echolocation is so tuned that it can detect objects as thin as a human hair.
- Most bats feed on insects, while others eat fruit, fish or even blood!
- Vampire bats have small and extremely sharp teeth which are capable of piercing an animal’s skin (humans included) without them even noticing.
- Bats can live up to 30 years.
- Most bats have only one pup a year, making them vulnerable to extinction. Bat mothers can locate their baby among thousands of other bats by their unique voice and scent.
- Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes an hour and often consume their body weight in insects every night.
- Bats can fly to speeds up to 60 mph.
- The world’s largest bat is the flying fox that lives on the islands of the South Pacific. It has a wingspan of up to 6 feet. The smallest is the bumble bee bat of Thailand. It is smaller than a thumbnail and weighs less than a penny.
- Scientists have been able to use the anticoagulation agent in vampire bat sputum to treat stroke and heart patients.
- Some seeds will not sprout unless they have passed through the digestive tracts of a bat. Additionally, bats spread millions of seeds every year from the ripe fruit they eat. Approximately 95% of the reforestation of the tropical rainforest is a result of seed dispersal from bats.
- Wind turbines kill tens of thousands of North American bats every year. Rather than being struck by turbines, many bats appear to be killed by a sudden drop in air pressure near the spinning blades. The tiny blood vessels in their delicate lungs explode. By trying to deal with one environmental concern, we create another.
- The Bracken Bat Cave in Texas is the largest known bat colony in the world. Over 20 million bats live in the cave. When the bats leave the cave, the group is so large that it looks like a huge storm on radar.
- Only about 5% of all U.S. caves have the right temperature and water conditions suitable for bats.