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How is a bat born?



How is a bat born?


How is a bat born?

The Bat


The bat or bat (English: bat) is a small mammal that is distinguished from other mammals by its ability to fly. The bat belongs to the order Chiroptera, which in Greek means winged hands; This is because the structure of the open wing of a bat is similar to the structure of the human hand, with membranes connecting the four fingers and the thumb remaining free and not connected to the rest of the fingers.



           The bat uses the free front finger and its hind limbs to attach to trees or caves upside down; So that his head and body hang down. Bats, like other mammals, reproduce by giving birth and suckle their young, and their bodies are covered with hair except for the wings. There are about (1,100) species of bats all over the world, and they represent nearly one fifth of all mammals.



Types of bats


How is a bat born?

       Bats are divided into two main groups:


Megachiroptera or Megabats :


How is a bat born?

        There are approximately 170 species of large bats that spread in Asia and Africa, and large bats do not have to be really large, in fact there are bats that belong to this group, although they are smaller in size. From some small bats.


          Large bats feed on fruit, pollen, flower nectar, and sometimes insects, and differ from small bats in that they do not use bio- sonar (echo monitoring) to determine their direction, except for the Egyptian fruit bat. The largest species of large bat is the flying fox bat, which weighs 998 g, and the distance between its wings is 1.5-1.8 m. The smallest species is the long-tongued fruit bat, which weighs 14 g, and the distance between its wings is 25.4 cm.



Microchiroptera or microbats:


How is a bat born?

        There are approximately 800 species of small bats that are spread on all continents except Antarctica. Most of the small bats feed on insects, a few of them eat fruit, nectar or small animals, and some drink the blood of large animals.


        The largest of the small bats is the false vampire bat, which weighs between 145-190 g, and the distance between its wings is one meter, and the smallest bat is the bumblebee, which weighs 2 g, and the distance between its wings is 3 cm. Small bats have characteristics that distinguish them from large bats, including:



·      It uses bio-sound to determine its direction.

·      It lacks a claw on the second toe on the front ends.

·      Its ears do not form a closed ring, but the tips are separated from each other at the base of the ear.

·      It lacks undercoat, but it has protective hair, and it can be bare.



Bat multiplication


How is a bat born?

   The method of bat reproduction varies according to the species to which it belongs and the environment in which it lives. In general, the available information on bat reproduction methods is limited; Due to its diversity and spread; This makes studying it difficult. Some female bats go through the estrous cycle (the period during which they show their readiness to mate) once or twice a year, and some females have multiple estrous cycles.


           Male bats flirt with females in several ways, including: singing, spreading and displaying wings, and extending the long hair that is located on the top of the head. Mating occurs in North American bats, northern Eurasia and horseshoe bats in the fall, then they hibernate for the winter, and the female stores the sperm inside her reproductive system until the coming of spring and the start of the warm season and the presence of abundance of food, then the female awakens and ovulation occurs and ovulation occurs. ; This is to increase the chances of young children to grow and survive.


         The length of the gestation period for a female bat depends on the environment in which the female lives and its temperature, for example, the gestation period of a paper nose bat is three months, and the gestation period of a female flying fox is between 5-6 months, and more than five months in a vampire bat.


     The female nocturnal bat has a gestation period of 6-14 weeks. In some species, pregnant females migrate when their due date approaches to special settlements (nursery) that are warmer, and include only pregnant females, and do not receive males or non-pregnant females. The female gives birth hanging from her feet, and holds the newborn by her wing to prevent it from falling to the ground.


       Most bats give birth to one young, and some, such as the female large brown bat, may give birth to twins, and some may give birth between 1-4 young, such as the eastern red bat, and some females can conceive twice in one year.


Baby bats are born blind, deaf, and hairless, and the birth weight is between one-sixth to one-third of the mother's weight; That is, between 0.22-370 grams, and the hind legs are well developed, and the young use them to attach to the mother or the roost, and the wings are not fully developed.


        Females breastfeed their young from the mammary glands that are found in the chest area in some species, or in the underarm area in other species, and some species have false nipples for the young to attach to his mouth during the mother’s flight. The young are weaned often after five or six weeks in types Baby bats, and five months in an Indian flying fox.


       Mothers leave the nursery in search of food, and may carry their young with them for a short period of time, but most of the young are left hanging on the wall or ceiling of the nursery, and when the mother returns, she is able to distinguish her young from among the millions of similar-shaped bats; Through their sounds, their smell and their recollection of where you left them.

         The young reach the age of sexual maturity in the first or second year of life, but it is known that the mortality of young bats is high compared to adults; Because of falling from ceilings or being injured during their first attempts to fly, in addition to diseases and disorders caused by genetic mutations.


The importance of bats


How is a bat born?

      Bats are of great importance in human life, including:


·      Many tropical and semi-tropical plants and trees are pollinated, such as: figs, avocados, bananas, breadfruit, mangoes, peaches, and dates.

·      Devouring large numbers of insects, each bat eats about half its weight in insects; Which helps to control large numbers of pests that damage crops and reduce the spread of diseases.

·      Manure is produced rich in phosphorous and nitrogen, which is used as a natural fertilizer in many countries in the world.

·      Bat dung covers artifacts and fossils in caves; This helps to preserve it.

·      Some species of bats, such as flying foxes, are a source of food in some parts of Southeast Asia, and some Pacific islands.

·      Bats are of great importance for scientific research purposes; Where some physiological aspects of bats are studied, such as: long-distance migration, hibernation, complex temperature regulation, and induction of direction using sound.


On the other hand, bats have some disadvantages, such as: 


·      Vampire bats inflict small wounds on livestock in some parts of tropical America, and these wounds are ideal sites for parasites to lay their eggs.

·      The vampire bat transmits rabies and trypanosomiasis to livestock.

·      Large colonies of bats that inhabit homes and public buildings in the tropics are disturbing with their sounds, smells, and droppings.