Some fun...and fascinating...facts you may not know about bats.
- Bat can fly at speeds reaching 60 mph.
- Bats can find their food in total darkness. They locate insects by emitting inaudible high-pitched sounds, 10-20 beeps per second and listening to echoes.
- There are 1,100 species of bats worldwide – making up one-quarter of the world’s mammal population. There are forty different species of bats live in the United States.
- There are only three species of "vampire bats" – bats that live off the blood of animals. None of those species lives in the United States.
- Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour, and often consume their body weight in insects every night.
- More than half of the bat species in the United States are in severe decline or listed as endangered.
- Bats can live to be more than 30 years old.
- Some bats migrate south for the winter, while others hibernate through the cold winter months. During hibernation, bats can survive in freezing temperatures, even after being encased in ice.
- Most bats have only one pup a year, making them extremely vulnerable to extinction.
- Bat mothers can find their babies among thousands or millions of other bats by their unique voices and scents.
- Austin is a seasonal home to North America’s largest urban population of Mexican free-tailed bats, which live beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. Approximately 1.5 million bats reside there!
- Bat droppings, called guano, are one of the richest fertilizers. Bat guano was once a big business. Guano was Texas largest mineral export before oil!
- The world’s largest bat is the "flying fox" that lives on islands in the South Pacific. It has a wingspan of up six feet.
- The world’s smallest bat is the bumble bee bat of Thailand, which is smaller than a thumbnail and weighs less than a penny.