credit: KQED QUEST  Flying fox in a zoo in Malaysia
Flying fox in a zoo in Malaysia. PHOTO: KQED QUEST

Fact: Bats are not blind. Most bats have small eyes and large ears because they navigate and locate food in the dark using echolocation, or sound. However, some bats hunt and eat in daylight. Some tropical bats’ favorite food is fruit. Others living in deserts feed on nectar, and some even dine on fish and frogs. These bats have large eyes; they can even resemble foxes, which is why some are called flying foxes.

Fact: Bats are the only mammals that can fly. They are warm-blooded, have hair, give birth to live babies and produce milk for those babies.

Fact: Bats are very good parents. Mothers are able to pick out their own pups (baby bats) among a million or more bats hanging from the roof of a cave. Experiments show that they use smell and sound to recognize their babies.

Fact: Bats come in all sizes. The largest is a fruit-eating flying fox in Thailand whose wings span six feet when it flies. The world’s smallest, the bumblebee bat, is only 1.2 inches long.

SpottedBat
The spotted bat dines almost exclusively on moths caught in flight using echolocation.
PHOTO © Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, www.batcon.org