A few things you probably didn’t know about bats


Flying fox bat can have a wingspan of six feet. It lives in Asia and Australia. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
August 9, 2013

Bats are the only mammals that fly.

There are more than 1,200 kinds of bats.

The smallest bat, called the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat or bumblebee bat, is only about one inch long.

The biggest bat, known as the flying fox, has a wingspan of about six feet.

The expression “blind as a bat” is misleading. Bats can see.

Bats have only one or two babies per year.

Since 2005, Virginia has had a state bat: the Virginia big-eared bat.

To learn more

Check out these books and Web sites about bats and bat conservation. (Always ask a parent before going online.)

●“The Bat Scientists” by Mary Kay Carson. 80 pages. Age 9 and older (available August 13). Merlin Tuttle, who founded Bat Conservation International (www.batcon.org), is one of five bat scientists this book follows into caves and anywhere else bats live.

●“Eyewitness Junior: Amazing Bats” by Frank Greenaway. 30 pages. Ages 6 to 11. Vivid photographs and illustrations make this a good reference book.

●“Living Wild: Bats” by Melissa Gish. 48 pages. Age 10 and older. This book offers amazing photographs and enough text to present bat facts and also conservation efforts.

●Leslie Sturges’s Save Lucy Web site (savelucythebat.org) includes an online-only children’s book, lots of bat facts and a club for kids.

●“Outside & Inside Bats” by Sandra Markle. 40 pages. Ages 7 to 10. Find out how bats can sleep upside down, why some have long tongues and other cool facts.

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