They’ve been dubbed creepy, scary and spooky, however bats are an essential species that impact our daily lives in ways we can not also realize. Indigenous pollinating ours favorite fruits to eat pesky insects to inspiring medical marvels, bats room heroes of the night. 

Bat Week — held the critical week in October — celebrate the role of bats in nature and all the these exceptional creatures carry out for us. Inspect out some amazing bat facts (and cool photos) below. 

1. There are over 1,400 types of bats worldwide.

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 Bats deserve to be discovered on nearly every component of the planet other than in extreme deserts and polar regions. The distinction in size and shape space equally impressive. Bats selection in dimension from the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat (also called the Bumblebee Bat) the weighs less than a penny — making it the world’s smallest mammal — come the paris foxes, which deserve to have a wingspan of as much as 6 feet. The U.S. And Canada are home to around 45 species of bats and additional varieties are uncovered in the U.S. Areas in the Pacific and Caribbean.

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The small brown bat lives up come its name. The weighs only a 1/4-1/3 of an ounce, is about 2 inches long, has a 6-inch wingspan and you‘ll never guess what color it is. Photograph by Ann Froschauer, USFWS.

2. No all bats hibernate. Even despite bears and also bats space the 2 most well-known hibernators, not all bats spend their winter in caves. Some bat types like the spotted bat survive by migrating in find of food come warmer areas when it gets chilly. 

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The north long-eared bat spends winter hibernating in caves and also mines. Photograph by Andrew King, USFWS.

3. Bats have few natural predators — an illness is one of the best threats. Owls, hawks and also snakes eat bats, but that’s nothing contrasted to the countless bats dying from white-nose syndrome. The disease — named for a white fungus ~ above the muzzle and also wings of bats — affect hibernating bats and has to be detected in 37 states and also seven Canadian provinces. This deadly syndrome has decimated details species more than others. It has actually killed over 90% of northern long-eared, small brown and also tri-colored bat populations in fewer 보다 10 years. Scientists are functioning to understand the disease. Friend can assist by avoiding places where bats are hibernating. If you perform go underground, decontaminate her clothing, footwear and gear to assist with not dispersing this an illness to other areas. 

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A tri-colored bat reflects symptoms the white-nose syndrome. Photograph by nationwide Park Service.

4. Without bats, speak goodbye to bananas, avocados and mangoes. Over 300 species of fruit depend top top bats for pollination. Bats aid spread seed for nuts, figs and also cacao — the key ingredient in chocolate. There is no bats, we likewise wouldn’t have actually plants like agave or the above saguaro cactus. 

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Just choose a hummingbird, the lesser long-nosed bat can hover in ~ flowers, using its 3-inch-long tongue — equal to that body length — to feeding on nectar in desert environments. Picture by Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat conservation International.

5. Night insects have the most to fear from bats. every night, bats can eat your body weight in insects, numbering in the thousands! This insect-heavy diet help foresters and farmers safeguard their crops from pests.

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The intimidated Indiana bat, i m sorry weighs around three pennies, spend up to fifty percent its bulk every evening. Photo by Andrew King, USFWS.

6. Bats are the just flying mammal. if the flying squirrel can only glide for short distances, bats are true fliers. A bat’s wing resembles a modified human being hand — imagine the skin in between your finger larger, thinner and also stretched. This functional skin membrane that extends between each lengthy finger bone and many movable joints make bats agile fliers.

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California leaf-nosed bats leave a cavern at Joshua Tree national Park. You have the right to easily differentiate these bats by your leaf-like noses and big ears. Picture by Kristen Lalumiere, nationwide Park Service.

7. Bats may be small, yet they’re fast tiny creatures. How fast a bat flies counts on the species, but they can reach speeds over 100 miles every hour according to new research. 

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Mexican free-tailed bats arise from Texas’s Bracken Cave. Over 15 million bats live there, making it the largest recognized bat nest (and biggest concentration that mammals) on Earth. Picture by Ann Froschauer, USFWS.

8. Conservation efforts are helping bat types recover. At least 12 species of U.S. Bats room endangered, and an ext are threatened. This amazing pets face a multitude of threats consisting of habitat loss and also disease, yet we"re working to adjust that. A unique international conservation partnership in the southwestern U.S. And also Mexico has actually been working to aid one species, the lesser long-nosed bat, recoup to the suggest it can be eliminated from the Endangered varieties list. In 1988, over there were thought to it is in fewer than 1,000 bats at the 14 well-known roosts range wide. Over there are currently an estimated 200,000 bats in ~ 75 roosts! 

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The ancestors that the intimidated Hawaiian Hoary Bat traveled end 3,600 kilometers indigenous the Pacific Coast nearly 10,000 years earlier to end up being Hawaii"s state soil mammal. Photograph by open minded Bonaccorso, USGS.

9. The longest-living bat is 41 years old. It’s said that the smaller sized the animal, the shorter its lifespan, yet bats rest that dominion of longevity. Although many bats live less than 20 years in the wild, scientists have documented six species that life much more than 30 years. In 2006, a small bat from Siberia collection the world record in ~ 41 years.

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The Townsend"s big-eared bat"s average lifespan is 16 years. Picture by Ann Froschauer, USFWS.

10. Prefer cats, bats clean themselves. far from being dirty, bats spend a many time organize themselves. Some, prefer the colonial bat, even groom every other. Besides having actually sleek fur, cleaning also helps control parasites.

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The spotted bat it s okay its surname from its unique appearance that black and also white spotted fur. An additional interesting fact around the spotted bat — it has the biggest ears of any North American species. Picture by Paul Cryan, USGS.

11. Dogs aren’t the only ones with pups. Baby bats are dubbed pups, and a team of bats is a colony. Like various other mammals, mother bats feed their pups breastmilk, not insects. Many bats give birth come a solitary pup! there is at least one species that frequently has twins and that is the east red bat. Momma bats form nursery nests in spring in caves, dead trees and also rock crevices.

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Bats benefit from keeping a close-knit roosting group since they rise reproductive success, and also it is crucial for rearing pups. Photograph by Alan Cressler, USGS.

12. Bats are motivating medical marvels. about 80 medicines come from plants that count on bats for their survival. If bats space not blind, studying just how bats usage echolocation has actually helped researchers develop navigational aids because that the blind. Research study on bats has additionally led to advancements in vaccines.

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The mexican long-tongued bat is a critical pollinator in desert systems. They have actually a long, bristle-like tongue, permitting them to sip nectar from agave and cacti. Photo by USFWS.

13. Innies or Outies? Humans no the only ones through belly buttons. With a few exceptions, nearly all mammals have actually navels because of mom’s umbilical cord, and also bats are no different. Now the real concern is: Innies or outies? 

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Can friend spot this Mariana Fruit bat’s ship button? picture by Julia Boland, USFWS.

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Bats need your help. Friend can aid protect these exceptional creatures through planting a bat garden or installing a bat house. Continue to be out of close up door caves, specifically ones with bats. If you’re visiting an open cave, make certain to avoid the spread out of white-nose syndrome by following these guidelines.