- Bats are the world's most misunderstood animal.
- Bats are the ONLY flying mammal.
- Bats make up 25% of the world's mammal population.
- There are over 1,000 species worldwide but only 45 species in the U.S.
- Thirty-three percent of the world's bat numbers have been reduced by nearly 1/3 since the 1960's. The population of Carlsbad Cavern alone was reduced from 30 million to less than 3,000 in 1964.
- Bats have been ruthlessly hunted for centuries due to superstition, ignorance and greed.
- Fifty-six percent of America's bats are either endangered or candidates for the list.
- Seventy percent of the world's bats are insectivores; the other thirty percent are pollinators, nectar-eaters and fruit eaters of which 1% eats fish, mice, frogs, lizards and other small vertebrates.
- Largest bat in the world is the Malaysian flying fox (6 ft. wingspan, weighs about 2 lbs) and is a gentle giant. Smallest bat in the world is Kitty's hog nose bat, commonly known as the bumblebee bat, and it has been hunted to near extinction (it weighs approximately the same as a thin dime). It only resides in Thailand and there are approximately 1,500 left in the wild. The largest bat in N. America is the Mastiff bat; the smallest is the pipistrelle. The average bat weighs the same as 5 pennies or 3 sticks of gum.
- Bats are the slowest reproducing mammal for their size. Female bats give birth only once per year to a single young. Some exceptions are the red bat (who has the ability to give birth, still only once per year, but to a litter of between 1-5 pups) and the big brown bat quite often has twins as does the hoary bat. Occasionally, due to global warming, flying foxes may give birth twice in one year. Some bats do not even give birth annually (if weather conditions have been extremely harsh). Pups are born at 25-33% of their mother's weight which is equivalent to a 120 pound woman giving birth to a 30-40 pound baby. Human babies are born at approximately 6% of their mother's weight and the blue whale offspring are born at 1% of their mother's weight.
- Bats are either foliage roosters or crevice dwellers; migratory or hibernating although some species can either hibernate or migrate.
- Life span of a bat is between 20-43 years for crevice dwellers and approximately 8-16 years for foliage roosting bats (approximately 22 years for the foliage roosting flying foxes).
- Delicate bone structure - bats are relatively heavy boned since they have marrow in their bones as do we - they are not hollow-boned like birds, consequently, nearly all species are incapable of taking off from a grounded position, they must drop into flight.
- Leg muscles of the bat are very under-developed since they merely hang by their toes, the muscles are not contracted.
- Bat fossils indicate that bats have been around for 50 million years. They arrived approximately 10 million years after the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Echolocation for bats is as old as the fossils.
- Guano - contains nearly 1,000 different strains of bacteria, some of which are used in the production of gasohol, to detoxify waste, improve detergents and antibiotics (just to name a few of the uses).
- Bats are responsible for bringing us more than 450 commercial products (that we use every day), including fibers, dyes, fuel, medicine and timber which all come from bat dependent plants.
Texas and Bats | Vampire Bats | Echolocation (Biological Sonar)