Living on the planet for millions of years, even before the humans inhabited the planet, bats are usually associated with fear and horror as they roam around at night.
Making up one-fifth of all living mammal species and found on six continents, bats range from the insect-loving greater mouse-eared bat to fruit bats.
Here are some of the interesting facts that might help you to fall in love with this creature.
The scientific name for bats is Chiroptera, which is Greek for “hand wing.” That’s because bats have four long fingers and a thumb, each connected to the next by a thin layer of skin.
The word “bat” appeared in 1570 from the Middle English Bakke, which is related to the Old Swedish natbakka and the Old Danish nathbakkae, or “night bat,” and Old Norse leđrblaka, or “leather flapper.”
Bat wings are made of finger bones covered by thin layers of skin. The wing membranes make up about ninety-five percent of its body surface area.
The wing membrane helps regulate body temperature, blood pressure, water balance, and gas exchange.
They can move the wing like a hand, essentially “swimming” through the air.
The outer layer of their skin contains a compound that enhances pliability — handy when flight depends on your flexible wings. No other mammal has this adaptation.
Cure for patients
Scientists have been able to use the anticoagulation agent in vampire bat spit to treat stroke victims and heart patients.
They believe that the same enzyme that gives the mammal more blood for their bite may be used as medicine for stroke victims by breaking down blood clots.
Draculin is currently being explored in medicine. The anticoagulant may be useful as a treatment for strokes and heart attacks
Vampire bats are the only mammals that live entirely on blood. No wonder they call them vampires. These notorious bats sleep during the day in total darkness, suspended upside down from the roofs of caves.
Vampire bats use infrared radiation to locate blood hotspots on their prey.
Do vampire bats suck blood?
Contrary to popular belief, vampire bats do not really “suck” blood. Instead, they typically “lap” up to two teaspoons a night with their tongues.
The blood moves through the bat’s mouth in two channels under its tongue. Its body uses only red blood cells, and within two minutes of starting to eat, the bat’s body rids itself of blood plasma in the form of urine.