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More About Bats ...
Bats are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera with forelimbs developed as wings. Other mammals, such as flying squirrels or gliding phalangers, can glide limited distances, but only bats are capable of true flight. The name Chiroptera can be translated as Hand Wing, as the structure of the open wing is very similar to an outspread human hand, covered in a membrane.

Though the vast majority of bats are insectivorous, a significant number from both suborders, Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera (see below), have developed the ability to feed on fruits and their juices. Some of the smaller species are important pollinators of some tropical flowers. Indeed, many tropical plants are now found to be totally dependent on them, not just as pollinators, but eating the resulting fruits and so spreading their seeds. In addition, some bats prey on vertebrates. These bats include the Leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae) of central and South America, and the allied family Noctilionidae (Bulldog bats) that feed on fish.

There are two suborders of bats:

Megachiroptera (megabats or fruit bats)
Microchiroptera (microbats, echolocating bats or insectivorous bats)
Megabats eat fruit, while microbats eat mainly insects, and often rely on echolocation for navigation and finding prey. A handful of species, the vampire bats, feed on blood.

It was once believed that megabats and microbats developed independently, and that the shared characteristics were the result of convergent evolution. After numerous genetic analyses it has been established that both groups have a common flying ancestor.

Little is known about the evolution of bats, since their small, delicate skeletons do not fossilize well. The oldest known bat fossils are Icaronycteris, Archaeonycteris, Palaeochiropteryx and Hassianycteris from the early Eocene (about 50 million years ago), but they were already very similar to modern microbats.

Bats are usually grouped with the tree shrews (Scandentia), colugos (Dermoptera), and the primates in superorder Archonta.

All bats are active at night or at twilight, so the eyes of most species are poorly developed. Their senses of smell and hearing, however, are excellent. By emitting high-pitched sounds and listening to the echoes, the microbats locate prey and other nearby objects. This is the process of echolocation, a skill they share with dolphins and whales.

The teeth resemble those of the insectivores. They are very sharp in order to bite through the chitin armour of insects or the skin of fruits.

A newborn bat can cling to the fur of the mother and be transported, although they soon grow too large for this. It would be difficult for an adult bat to carry more than one young, so normally only one young is born. Bats will often form nursery roosts, with many females giving birth in the same area, be it a cave, a tree hole, or a cavity in a building. Two mammary glands are situated between the chest and the shoulders. Only the mother cares for the young, and there is no continuous partnership.

Small bats are sometimes preyed upon by owls and falcons. Generally there are few animals able to hunt a bat. In Asia there is a bird, the bat hawk, which specializes in hunting bats. The domestic cat is a regular predator in urban areas; they may catch bats as they enter or leave a roost, or on the ground. Bats will land on the ground for feeding, in bad weather, or due to accidents while learning to fly.
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Source: Wikipedia Read more about Bats
PICTURES (Click to enlarge)
Bat picture Bat picture Indonesian Fruit Bat picture
Bat Bat Indonesian Fruit Bat
Bat picture Bat picture Bat picture
Bat Bat Bat
Greater Horse-Shoe Bat picture Bat picture Little brown bat picture
Greater Horse-Shoe Bat Bat Little brown bat
Little brown bat picture    
Little brown bat    
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