I'll be honest with you, I don't like bats, especially flying fox bats. But as 17th April arrived, and bats emerge from hibernation, we should all take our time and learn fun facts and appreciate them. After all, what do you prefer, a world full of mosquitos or some bats you don't really see?
We could not find out the history of this day, but we found this: the oldest known bat is Icaronycteris from Green River Formation in Wyoming, and the fossil is 51 million years old. Its anatomical characteristics are very much alike with the bats from our days, so the exact origin is still to be discovered.
There are over 1000 living species, from the less-than-one-ounce bumblebee to the 2.6-pound flying fox. What I do like about them, is that they feed with insects, including mosquitos. A bat can eat up to 1.000 mosquitoes in one hour. So I clap my hands to that.
Fan Facts About Bats
- They have long lives, some bats can live up to 40 years,
- Even though we associate bats with diseases, they have a strong immune system and rarely get sick,
- Because they eat insects and act like a natural pesticide, they are worth millions,
- one colony of 150 Big Brown bats can eat up to 22 million rootworms each summer,
- They can "see" (not actually see, eco-location in fact) in the dark and have an extreme sense of hearing,
- One of the largest bats is the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox
- They need our help, they are suffering from a fungus named: Pseudogymnoascus destructans, that cause the white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats.
- Bats are also facing extinction, due to offshore wind farms and loss of their habitats.
How To Celebrate Bat Appreciation Day
Some of the zoos have nocturnal rooms where you can see bats up close and personal, so why not go for a family day out at the zoo. You can also donate to different wildlife organization that help bats, or if you are posting on social media use #BatAppreciationDay to raise awareness.
Do you like bats? Let me know in the comments below.