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Nature

Bat Brains

The amazing Bat

Bat at rest
Getting blood to the brain. Photo by Vit Ducken from Pixabay.

What other animal can eat up to 1 200 mosquitoes an hour ? or can fly at 60 mph (96km/h) and still manage to avoid a hair width piece of wire strung between two poles, as well as catch an insect 0.07 (2 mm) inches long?

Impressive to say the least!

Bats use echolocation to ‘see’ in the dark and have the ability to ‘lock’ their feet in place so they don’t fall down when asleep. Well, what about the blood rush to the head? It doesn’t happen due to valves in the circulatory system that prevents this. Another interesting one on blood flow is that during hibernation the heart can reduce to the region of 4 beats a minute while our friend is on the move dodging wires and catching little insects it can be as high as 1 100 beats a minute!

So, if bats use echolocation – is it because they are blind? No, they just cant see so well in the dark using their eyes. But when you fly around emitting squeaks and your on board echo location can make you aware of all the objects around you including whether an insect is beating its wings or just gliding, you don’t need much more…

Bats in flight
Bats in Flight by Publicdomainpictures from Pixabay.

What bats eat depends on the species and can be fruit, insects or even blood in the case of the vampire bat. Apparently 100 vampire bats could drink the blood of 25 cows in a year. When they feed it is typically for 30 minutes at a time. The prey are usually cows and horses but they have been known to drink from humans as well.

Owls, hawks and snakes all eat bats but most bats that do die actually die from disease. Bats also help with pollination and assisting around 300 different species of plant in this manner. In addition to this bats play an important part in the spreading of seeds for figs, cocoa and some nuts.

Bat wings spread
Bat wings open. Photo by Andrea Bohl from Pixabay

And lastly, some species of bats are known to have been encapsulated in ice during their hibernation and still be alive after the thaw when spring arrives!

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