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These Amazing Bat Facts Will Show You They Are Not So Spooky After All

Bats are synonymous with Halloween. However, there is a lot more about these flying mammals beyond their spooky side. With over 1,000 species, bats make up a quarter of the world’s mammals. They have several features that make them fascinating and even beneficial to our world. Here are five not-so-spooky bat facts.

Why are they associated with Halloween?

Have you ever wondered why bats are regarded as Halloween animals? Well, just like every other custom, the connection between bats and Halloween dates back centuries ago. In the famous “Dracula” novel, vampires turn into bats and suck human blood.

Courtesy: National Geographic

This made many believe these mammals suck blood. However, only 3 of over 1,000 species suck blood (majorly animal blood). Furthermore, The Celts believed bats were bad spirits because they always gathered to eat the thousands of insects surrounding their Samhain festival bonfires in October.

How active are they at night?

Although there are many nocturnal birds, only bats are associated with Halloween because they are believed to be spiritual. So it’s quite amazing to know that not all bats are nocturnal- many sleep at night, just like humans do.

Courtesy: Lotus Bungalows

Nocturnal bats have a wonderful way of finding their food. With an ability called echolocation, they can locate insects to eat by emitting inaudible high-pitched sounds (10-20 beeps per second) and listening to echoes. Then they swoop down and eat.

They are unsung heroes of our ecosystem

Some animals are helpful to our ecosystem, while others have no effects at all. Well, bats are a member of the former group. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, bats don’t loiter around to do any spirit business- they help us.

Courtesy: The Scientist

Insects make up the majority of most species’ diet. By eating insects, bats significantly reduce the population of bugs and other insects. In one hour, a bat can consume over 1,000 mosquitoes. Every night, bats eat thousands of insects, keeping their population in check.

Even their ‘waste’ isn’t a waste

Aside from being actively beneficial to our ecosystem, bats are also passively helpful to us. Their excrement, called guano, is a very effective fertilizer. This is probably due to their diet.

Courtesy: Eliteextermination

Bat guano was Texas’ largest mineral export before it became oil. Austin is a seasonal home to North America’s largest urban population of Mexican free-tailed bats (about 1.5 million), which live beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge.

They may be going into extinction

Bats are experiencing habitat loss, and that’s not the only threat they face. Bats only reproduce once a year; it’s a no-brainer that having one pup per year makes these flying mammals very vulnerable to extinction.

Courtesy: Creature Control

Another significant threat comes from White Nose Syndrome, a disease that has annihilated bats in the U.S. and Canada. Fortunately, some organizations like The Nature Conservancy have collaborated on a solution. Treating bats with a common bacterium seems to be working.

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