For years now I have wondered why people are so afraid of bats. I cannot be the only one who read the classic Children’s Book Stellaluna. I find it completely bewildering how people screech when they hear a bat is nearby.
These small animals are the only mammals able to sustain flight. Besides a weird type of mouse, no other mammal has wings, and no other one can actually fly for as long as they want. The rest are considered gliders. This is absolutely incredible. They have all the adorable qualities of mammals like dogs or cats, but they can fly like birds.
The biggest kind of bat is called a Large Flying Fox (but they are still bats). These creatures are virtually just flying puppies. They’ve got big ole round eyes that make you want to melt. They’ve got floppy little pointy ears. They’ve got canine-like noses that look like they could just nuzzle into you while they give you kisses, just like a puppy.
There are almost 1,250 different species of bats. They make up 20% of the mammal population on Earth. The various species of bats are divided into two characterizations: echolocating microbats and largely fruit-eating megabats. Microbats are the ones with more pug-esque looking noses while megabats are the ones with more dachshund-esque noses. Both are absolutely adorable.
Bats of all kinds do a lot for our world. The small echolocating bats save farmers and such from using pesticides as they eat insects, but not crops. The larger fruit-eating bats, much like bees, assist in the pollination of many fruit species, which allows us to eat a delicious variety of produce. They also disperse seeds from these plants that attach to them. This makes it possible for new plant life to grow in different spots. Bat poop, otherwise known guano, is used as a fertilizer in many places. It is a renewable resource for farmers to use. And the popular thought that mascara is made from guano is NOT true (it is made from fish scales actually).
Most people claim they are afraid of bats because of rabies. Bats are as likely to have rabies as any other animal. Basically, you’re as likely to come face to face with a bat that has rabies as you are to come face to face with a squirrel that has rabies.
We can all agree vampire bats aren’t the cutest things in the world but don’t fear. Vampire bats primarily feed on cows, pigs, and bird. They don’t actually drink the large mammals to death like it is implied in their name. As scary as a blood-feeding animal is, this function has a benefit to humans. When vampire bats bite, they release something in their saliva that keeps the blood from clotting. This compound in their saliva has been utilized in medicine to help those with blood clots.
In conclusion, bats are beautiful, adorable, helpful animals that should be loved by all.