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Berlin's bright sky isn't great for bats

People can hardly imagine a city without night-time street lighting. But how do nocturnal animals such as bats respond to the illuminated urban landscape? In a recent study, scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and ...

Tiny insects become 'visible' to bats when they swarm

Small insects that would normally be undetectable to bats using echolocation suddenly become detectable when they occur in large swarms. Arjan Boonman of Tel-Aviv University and colleagues present these findings in PLOS Computational ...

Scientists use night vision to save bats

High-resolution radar and night vision cameras may help scientists protect bats from untimely deaths at wind farms, according to new research.

Bats don't rely on gut bacteria the way humans do

Right now, there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut, making up about one percent of your body weight. They're supposed to be there—we need them to help us digest food and fight off diseases. The same is true for ...

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Bat

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Bats are mammals in the order Chiroptera (pronounced /kaɪˈrɒptərə/). The forelimbs of bats are developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of flight (opposed to other mammals, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums and colugos, that glide only for a distance). Bats do not flap arms like birds, instead they flap spread out hands where their fingers are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium. Chiroptera comes from two Greek words cheir (χειρ) "hand" and pteron (πτερον) "wing."

There is an estimated total of about 1,100 species worldwide, which is about 20 percent of all classified mammal species. About 70 percent of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, with a few species being carnivorous. Bats are present throughout most of the world and perform a vital ecological role by pollinating flowers, and eat various plants to dispere their seeds. Many tropical plants depend for their seeds to be distributed entirely by bats.

Bats range in size from Kitti's Hog-nosed Bat measuring 29–33 mm (1.14–1.30 in) in length and 2 g (0.07 oz) in mass, to the Giant golden-crowned flying fox which has a wing span of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) and weighs approximately 1.2 kg (3 lb).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA