About Colonizing Bats: Appearance, Biology, Life Cycle, Habitat, Diet, And Behavior
There are numerous types of colonizing bats to be found in urban and suburban areas, but the most common species are the Brazilian free-tailed bat, little brown bat, big brown bat, and evening bat. Each of these has a slightly different appearance, diet, and life cycle, although there are multiple similarities as well. Whenever you are dealing with bats on your property, you will want to first determine the species that is present. It helps to be aware of what they look like and other habits so you will not be surprised while taking care of a bat problem.
Although they are mammals, bats have wings instead of forelimbs and they are actually the only mammal capable of flight. The smallest possible bat will be between 2 and 2.6 grams with a wingspan of 15 centimeters and length of 29 to 34 millimeters. The largest, on the other hand, weigh 1.2 kilograms with a wingspan measuring 1.5 meters and a length of 336 to 343 centimeters.
Mexican freetail bats typically have a 10-inch wingspan while evening bats span 10.5 inches across the wings and both of these have free tails. . Little brown bats only have a 9.5-inch wingspan and big brown bats have a wingspan of 12.5 inches. It is typically easy to identify the Mexican or Brazilian free-tailed bat, which is the same species, by their tail that sticks out from between their legs as the majority of bats do not have a tail.
Biology And Life Cycle
Bats are mammals with teeth that were specially designed to be able to break a protective shell on insects and allow them to eat their wide range of prey. The valves in their arteries and veins are also unique as they are one-way.
The exact life cycle and mating habits of a bat depends on its particular species and climate. Those who live in temperate climates will typically breed in the spring. The Brazilian or Mexican freetail bat usually gives birth in late May with the babies flying by early August. Little brown bats give birth between early June and August, as do big brown bats. Evening bats have a maternity season that goes from late April to mid-July.
No matter where they live, bats give birth to a single live offspring at a time, but may have up to three babies a year. The females will continue flying and gathering food during pregnancy. Female bats have a unique ability to delay the birth of their babies as a way to make sure that there will be enough food present; they do this by storing sperm within their reproductive tract and delaying the entire pregnancy to get the timing correct. After baby bats are born, they stay with their mothers until they can fly and are fully grown. The average bat will live 20 years.
Today, bats are one of the most widely distributed mammals. To thrive, bats simply need to have access to food and an area to hibernate and rest during the day. The northern portion of the United States will mostly see the big brown and little brown bats while the southwestern areas typically see the Mexican freetail bats.
Mexican freetail bats tend to live in large colonies and are able to tolerate extremely hot temperatures. Although little brown bats also have large colonies, they tend to prefer older buildings that are worn down. Big brown bats prefer to live in smaller colonies. Evening bats are less commonly found in the United States, but they can be seen in the southeastern portion. They live in small colonies, sometimes with free-tailed bats.
Bats have a varied diet depending on the particular species and their location. Some are insectivores who eat insects while others are vampire bats or drink blood from animals and yet others are frugivores. Due to their diet and habits, these bats play a key role in pollinating flowers and spreading fruit seeds. By eating insects that plague plants, they also help with growing crops. Even with such a large dietary variation, it is possible to make general statements. 70 percent of bats, for example, will eat insects. Others specialize in eating fruit, nectar, small mammals, fish, and blood.
Despite the myths, bats are not actually blind; their eyes are simply poorly developed giving them relatively bad vision. This means that they rely heavily on their senses of smell and hearing as well as echolocation to form a complete picture of their surroundings. Bats have been known to travel over 800 kilometers looking for food. They are nocturnal, hunting at night.
Echolocation involves emitting ultrasonic sounds using their mouths and detecting the echoes that travel back to them. Bats then automatically analyze these echoes and sound patterns, letting them know every detail of their prey, including shape, size, and position.
Read the How to get rid of bats page for helpful information and to learn more about About Colonizing Bats: Appearance, Biology, Life Cycle, Habitat, Diet, And Behavior
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