A bat is an animal that is representative of the class mammals, the order Chiroptera, bats suborder.
There are about 900 species of these winged animals. Bats are very common on our planet and is the only mammal able to fly.
Description of the appearance of bats
Animals are usually small in size. Of all the representatives of the suborder Svinonosogo bat is the smallest. Its weight is only 2 grams, its body length varies from 2.8 to 3.4 cm, wingspan reaches 16 cm. This animal is one of the smallest in the world. There are also quite a large species, such as giant Levemir having a body weight of about 150-200 grams, a wingspan of up to 73-75 cm , and the width of the wing 14-17 cm.
The bodies of bats are covered with short and soft coat. Its color can range from white to dark grey, brown and brownish. Some animals even have a red or reddish color. And also, in nature there are individuals, not having a coat. There are two types of such animals that live in Southeast Asia and the Philippines.
Vision in these animals is poorly developed, distinguish colors they are unable really. But this does not mean that bats are blind, some can see quite well. For example, California Listones, with suitable lighting can stalk your prey using the eyes.
All members of this species possess a unique hearing, they have it is the leading organ of the senses. Some animals have very large ears, almost the same size as the body. Many of the bats on the base of the ears is skin and cartilage growth, it is quite narrow and small, and is designed to amplify and better perception of sound. Thanks to these ears, the animals are so well developed hearing that they can hear insects in the background of strong noise of water.
The structure of the skull and the number of teeth in different species of the suborder may vary depending on the animal nutrition. They, like all mammals the dentition, including incisors, canines and molars. For example, if the animal feeds on the nectar of flowers, its facial part of the skull will have an elongated shape to accommodate a long tongue, which it gets food.
Individuals that eat large insects, have longer tusks and larger teeth than those who eat small insects with a soft shell. Usually such bats may be 38 small teeth, and vampires only 20, because in most cases they are only required sharp teeth to make a cut on the victim’s body. The teeth of the animals prefer to eat fruit, especially adapted for the thorough pulverization of the fruit.
The wings of bats are very unique in their design. The forelimbs of the animals run, due to the peculiar structure of the carpal bones. Thumbs they have turned into bones, and the bones of the other four fingers lengthened, which is very convenient to change the shape of the wing.
Bone in wings are connected to each other via a thin and light membrane. It can easily damage, but it’s the fastest-healing tissue that can be in mammals. It recovers 10 times faster than a human. The membrane is covered with many small hairs at the base of which is situated the sensory cells that tell the bat in flight on the air currents, making the animal able to calculate when to speed up or slow down flight.
The body of the animal consists of a dense layer of muscles that allow them to during the flight to abruptly change direction, to soar into the air or to swoop down. It all bats can do absolutely not looking. For orientation during night flying, animals emit a high frequency squeak, returning him to the echo. And such echolocation allows bats to fly around any obstacle, not to collide with them, and also to find prey and to fly her at a speed of 60 km per hour.
Some interesting information about the bats:
- Biggest bat – Zolotokolosa Fox, a body length of about 50 cm, weight up to 1600 kg, wingspan up to 180 cm.
- The smallest belongs Svinonosogo bat, its body length of about 3 cm, and weight not more than 2 grams.
- Bats live up to 17-20 years.
- Out of all mammals, only bats and dolphins use echolocation.
- All members of the species a very fast metabolism, foods can be digested in 20 minutes.
- Bats spend a lot of time cleaning his body.
- These animals can’t be head-up.
- Individuals that compete and prey on the same prey, choose different places and hours for feeding.
- On the brink of extinction is a large number of bats, due to the reduction of habitat and destruction of their people.
The lifestyle of bats
Where I live bats
Various species of these animals are widely distributed worldwide, except Antarctica, some Arctic and oceanic Islands.
A large number of bats inhabit the tropical and subtropical countries.
Members of the order Chiroptera are nocturnal animals. During the day they hide in their shelters can be caves, crevices in rocks, buildings, a cozy place under the ground where they hang upside down, gathering in huge flocks. At night for them the day is just beginning and they fly from their homes in search of food.
Bats that live in countries with moderate and cool climate in the cold season fall into hibernation, which lasts up to 8 months. Some individuals at the onset of winter may migrate over a distance of about 2 thousand km, flying overnight to 35 km.
They eat bats
The basis of the diet representatives of the order Chiroptera are usually insects. One can catch beetles and butterflies on the fly, and catch other insects on the plant leaves. Among the animals living in the tropics, there are those who eat only fruit, nectar and pollen. But there are species of bats that eat fruit and insects.
Some bats prefer to feed on fish and other water inhabitants, and also there are individuals that eat small birds and mammals.
There are also others, not very common species of bats are the vampires who feed exclusively on the blood of animals, birds, and sometimes humans. Other representatives of the suborder – levanony are carnivorous predators, their diet includes birds, frogs, lizards and bats of a different kind.
Species of bats
In nature there is a large number of the members of the order Chiroptera, that most famous of them:
- The giant noctule. This is the largest species of bats living in Europe and Russia. Its body length is 8.5 to 10.4 cm, weight – 41-76. a Wingspan of up to 42-46 see Animal has brown-red fur on back and lighter belly. On the head near the ears is dominated by darker colors.
The habitat of bat in the forests, and the distribution area extends from France to the Caucasus. Often this kind of animal it settles in hollow trees with other representatives of the suborder, rarely forms its own colony. Animal feeds are quite large insects, also small passerine birds which are caught in the air at high altitude. This bat listed in the Red book.
- White listones. It is a small animal with a body length of 3.6–4.7 cm, not weighing more than 7 grams without tail. Females have a smaller size than males. Animals have a white coat color on the back, which then goes into the sacrum greyish. The bottom of the abdomen, too, is gray. The nose and ears in the animal, is yellow in color and have the shape of leaves.
White listeasy live in South and Central America, preferring to find refuge in the evergreen forests, climbing is not very high. They feed on fruits and several species of Ficus in the night time. These animals usually live in solitude or settle small groups of no more than 5-6 individuals.
- Two-tone leather. The animal has a body length to 6.5 cm, a wingspan of from 27 to 33 cm, and Weight from 12 to 24 grams. The name of this bat got because of its color combination of two colors. The back of the animal is painted in dark brown color with a reddish tint, and the abdomen gray or white. Muzzle, ears and wings are black.
Habitat of these bats in Eurasia, from England and France to the coast of the Pacific ocean. In Western Europe, these animals are often found in large cities. They can perfectly coexist next door to one shelter with other species of bats. Animals prey on mosquitoes, midges and other small insects throughout the night. Two-tone bats are endangered and protected in many countries.