Did you know that bats are the only flying mammal in the world? Or that there are more than 1,200 different types of bats? Bats are pretty amazing creatures and they go through some pretty incredible changes during their lifetime. Here are some fascinating facts about the bat life cycle.
All baby animals are called infants, and baby bats are no exception. Baby bats are called “infants” or “pups.” A baby bat is born blind and cannot fly. Baby bats are born in colonies where they live with their mothers and other female bats.
The average litter size for a bat is one pup, but some mothers can have two pups at a time.
Bats are born blind and deaf. They are totally helpless when they are first born and rely on their mother for everything.
Baby bats drink their mother’s milk until they are old enough to eat insects on their own.
Within a few weeks, however, they start to grow quickly. Their eyes and ears open and they begin to explore their surroundings. By six weeks old, most young bats can fly confidently.
When the bats reach young adulthood, they will leave the nursery colony and live on their own. This is when they reach full size and become sexually mature.
At this point, they become more solitary and will only meet up with other bats to mate or hibernate together in the winter months.
As they grow older, baby bats start to look more and more like adult bats. They grow fur, their wings grow longer, and their teeth start to come in. Once they reach adulthood, they are able to mate and have babies of their own.
Some adult bats live in colonies with other adult bats, while others live alone. All adult bats eat insects. Some of the favorite foods of adult bats include moths, beetles, and mosquitoes.
Just like people, bats get old. When a bat gets old, its fur starts to turn gray and it starts to lose its ability to fly as well as it used to.
Bats can live for a very long time compared to other animals their size. The oldest bat on record was more than 41 years old! Most bats, however, live between 10 and 20 years in the wild.
Do Bats Hibernate?
During the winter months, bats in temperate climates will often go into a state of “torpor.” This means that their body temperature and metabolism drop significantly in order to save energy. Torpid bats can hang upside down for months at a time!
Bats play an important role in our ecosystem. They help pollinate plants and spread seeds around, which helps keep our forests healthy. They also eat lots of insects, which helps keep populations of harmful pests under control.
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Bats may seem a little spooky at first, but they are actually very interesting creatures! Next time you see a bat, take a closer look and think about all of the amazing things that this animal can do during its lifetime.