Bats are everywhere
You can’t escape them. Masters of colonization, bats have inhabited nearly every type of ecosystem since the age of the dinosaurs, with the exception of desert and polar climes. Today their empire stretches across every continent except Antarctica, though they are most numerous in the tropics.
In those tropical environments, bat populations explode into the millions, even in isolated colonies.
The biggest single gathering of bats in the world is in San Antonio, Texas, where 20-40 million bats pour out of Bracken Cave each night in search of food.
Bats can get huge
Imagine your family dog growing six-foot wings and hanging upside down in the backyard peach tree, and you’ll understand just how big bats can get. Giant fruit bats, also known as flying foxes, can grow over a foot-and-a-half in body length and up to 6 ft (2 m) in wingspan.
Batwings are actually flaps of skin
No streamlined feathers, no colorful plumage — the bat relies on flaps of skin stretched over thin, skeleton-like fingers for flight. Believe it or not, this lack of feathers aids in maneuverability, allowing bats to slice through the night sky acrobatically and effortlessly with pin-point accuracy.
Bats have an insatiable hunger
On a good night, by using their sharp teeth to shred food into tiny pieces for easy digestion, bats can consume nearly 50 percent of their own body weight. Large groups, like the aforementioned Bracken Cave colony, can forage and hunt for untold tons of fruit and insects in a single night. But that’s not all they eat…