Bats are often social creatures. Unlike other social animals like bees and prairie dogs, bats don’t make their own dwellings. They generally reside in caves.
Should you find one flying right into a cave, then you can be reasonably sure there are other bats inside. In some arenas thousands of bats bunch together on walls or ceilings. In these big colonies scientists often detect bats of one form sharing a cave with ones of a different species. Smaller bat colonies numbering just 10 or 12 bats may dwell in a hollow tree.
Caves and hollow trees aren’t the only areas where bats live. Some anglers merely roost in trees , hanging like leaves out of branches and twigs. Two kinds of tropical bats create small tents out of palm leaves. Such a bat slits the leaf with its teeth, then hangs inside the folds.
In North America and Europe human beings sometimes talk about a house or a barn with an entire colony of bats and never understand the critters are there. A bat can squeeze through narrow cracks and roost between layers of ceiling and wall.
This means that they are active only at nighttime. Just a few kinds of bats venture out in bright sunlight. Bats are probably nighttime creatures for the same reasons that many small creatures are. A little animal is in less danger in the night. In the day there’s the constant danger of being consumed by larger animals that sleep at night. Also, at night bats can catch insects with less opposition from birds.
Most bats live on insects alone. Some eat only fruit. Some eat both insects and fruit. A few kinds of bats rodents eat other things-meat fish, Opossum bait and even flower nectar.
Possibly the most best-known fruit bats are the enormous flying foxes. In Australia these giant bats have become a significant annoyance to fruit growers. They swarm on the orchards, devouring fruit during the night and roosting in the trees daily.
In India one sort of bat was seen eating mice, birds, and lizards. When caught, the large spear-nosed bats of tropical America will eat nearly anything. They’ve been fed peanuts, horsemeat, liver, and hamburger. They will even eat smaller bats.
The bats having the most unusual diets are observed in the tropics. They skim over a lake or pond, yanking their sharp claws through the water to catch little fishes swimming near the surface. Another type of jungle bats, the tiny hummingbird bats, eat mostly the pollen and nectar of flowers.
Possibly the most famous tropical bats are the vampires, located only in South and Middle America. – The vampire bat has inspired legends, superstitions, and terror tales-all of them false. A vampire bat does sting other animals and drinks their blood. But, in contrast to the legends, it doesn’t drain its own victims. A vampire bat may bite a sleeping horse, cow, or goat-or even a man-without being noticed. Its sharp teeth make a shallow cut. Then the bat only laps up a little quantity of blood and flies away. The chief threat to the victim is infect-ion. Vampire bats, in addition to several different species, are famous earners of rabies.