Bats

There are more than 1200 types of bats all throughout the globe. In the United States there are 45 species of bats and seven species in the U.S. are in danger of extinction.

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These flying mammals are widespread and can live under any moderate temperature; however, bats do not sustain extreme temperatures. They are not found in Antarctica or Polar Regions. Bats are the only form of mammal to have attained powered flight. Several mammals like flying squirrels glide but cannot stay in the air for long like bats can.

Most U.S. bats eat insects. A single bat can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in one hour. There are almost one thousand different types of bats, which is almost one quarter of all mammal species. Bats can be broken down into two major groups. The megabats are also known as Old World fruit bats and they are quite large. They are only found in Africa, India and Australasia. The microbats, which are much smaller, are distributed all over the world. Fewer than 0.5% of bats have rabies. Since 1960 there have only been 40 reported cases of humans getting rabies from bats.

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Most bats have very poor eyesight. Bats usually sleep during the day, hanging upside down in caves and other quiet places. Many bats migrate, but some hibernate in caves, hanging upside-down all winter long. Hibernating bats, like all the other animals that hibernate, can lower their heart rates dramatically and reduce their body temperatures, allowing them to go for very long periods without eating.