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Biologists head to bunkers to fight bat disease

(AP) -- Biologist Susi von Oettingen walked into the dark World War II-era military bunker and took out her flashlight. Among the old pipes, wires and machinery parts, she saw some bats hanging from cracks in the cement ...

Rainforest plant developed sonar dish to attract pollinating bats

The researchers discovered that a rainforest vine, pollinated by bats, has evolved dish-shaped leaves with such conspicuous echoes that nectar-feeding bats can find its flowers twice as fast by echolocation. The study is ...

There is more to bats' vision than meets the eye

The eyes of nocturnal bats possess two spectral cone photoreceptor types for daylight and colour vision. Reporting in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research ...

Rabies could spread to Peru's coast by 2020

Rabies will likely reach the Pacific Coast of Peru—where the virus currently does not occur—within four years, according to a paper published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers uncover that moths talk about sex in many ways

Moths are nocturnal, and they have one major enemy; the bat. As a defense many moths developed ears sensitive to the bat´s echolocation cries, and they have also developed different behaviors to avoid bats. Now it turns ...

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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).

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