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Bat Radar - Echolocation - Vision & Habitat

Bats really do not have “Bat Radar”; instead they use what is called “Echolocation”. Similar to radar, the bats emit very high frequency vocalizations through its mouth and sometimes nose as it flies.

Humans cannot hear these bat vocalizations, which are reflected back to the bat as it flies as an echo. This echolocation is so precise that not only can the bat navigate a Bat Cave in complete darkness, but can actually identify and locate the exact position of their insect prey in flight. If a bat's ears get injured or clogged they are unable to receive the reflected echoes, and thus lose their ability to echolocate.

Bat Echolocation

A cool thing about Bat Echolocation is that New World Fruit Bats and Vampire Bats have drastically reduced echolocation abilities. Nature is amazing and seems to give exactly what is needed to survive. Since these bats do not feed on insects they do not need as highly advanced echolocation anatomy. In fact, these fruit eating bats and blood drinking bats emit about 1/1000th the amount of sound energy, as do bats that feed on flying insects, floating aquatic insects and even fish.

Bat Vision is variable among the different bat species. The Old World Fruit Bats like the Flying Foxes (Pteropodidae) rely on vision much more than other bat species, especially the insectivorous bat species. Which makes allot of sense, as these creatures need to differentiate different degrees of ripened fruit that make up the majority of their diet.

Bat Habitat is as diverse as the Order Chiroptera itself. Bats sleep in crevices, hollow trees, in the open, under banana leaves and of course in bat caves. Bat Hibernation only occurs with bats living in the cooler habitats.

Of all the 1000 + species of bats described today they can be categorized into 6 types based on the type of bat feeding behavior. These 6 categories are Fish Eating Bats, True Vampire Bats, Carnivorous Bats, Insectivorous Bats, Fruit Eating Bats, and Flower Eating Bats.

David and I hope this short bio on the amazingly diverse group of adaptive mammals called the bats. It is our greatest hope to create an interest in wildlife education and wildlife conservation. We hope you take the time to enjoy the numerous high-tech Animal Web Cams placed inside the Sanctuary’s Big Cat and Endangered Lemur habitats. In addition, we are adding new content to our “Education Center” on a regular basis. We encourage you to visit them often to keep up-to-date. David and I both thank you in advance for your continued interest and support for not only the Sanctuary and its residents, but the Tigerhomes Mission as well.

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