Bat Week: Flight

Bats are not flying rodents such as mice with wings, but are indeed the only flying mammals on the planet which can sustain flight. They might look similar to a furry little house mouse, but they belong to a group of their own called Chiroptera. This word is derived from the Greek word “cheiro” meaning hand and “pteron” meaning “wing.” Basically, skin stretches across elongated arm and finger bones making up a very unique adaptation.

Flying takes a lot of energy, so bats synchronize their wing beats with their echolocation pulses to save energy. Bats’ quick flight and echolocation makes them excellent predators in flight. To increase their chances of catching their prey, some bats will capture insects in mid-flight by using their wings to scoop prey toward their mouth.

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