Bats, Bats, Facts and Myths | Project Discovery

There are many myths about the bat species that are simply not true. Some people think that bats are bloodsucking vampires or that they are flying, blind mice that get stuck in your hair. Project Discovery digs deeper to find out more about this amazing creature.

There are almost 1,000 different species of bats, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the mammal population. Because not all bats are cave dwellers and they can live virtually anywhere with trees, bats can be found in a variety of regions around the world.

Bats are the only mammals with powered flight, and they are excellent fliers. Some species fly around at dusk and in the middle of the night. Bats use highpitched sounds to find their way around in the darkness. They use their enormous ears to collect the vibrations from these sounds as they bounce off objects around them. This process is call echolocation.

Bats are very beneficial to the environment. Not only do bats eat mosquitoes and other insects, they also aid in the pollination of many plants that humans, eat including bananas. Bats are seed dispersers and essentially do the same job that birds do during the day.

There are many similarities in the makeup of bats and humans. Although the sizes of the parts are not in the same proportion, bats and humans share similar canine teeth, breastbones, and front limb bones. The structure of their wings is just like humans’ fingers except they have extended and elongated finger/wing bones. Bats do have some unusual characteristics, like backward feet, thumb hooks, and enormous ears. Bats’ backward feet and thumb hooks allow them to catch their prey and to hang upside down.