Happy Batman Day! There may only be one “caped crusader”, but did you know there are about 1300 different kinds of bats worldwide? They may not be fighting crime, but they sure are busy making the world a better place by pollinating our crops and taking care of pesky insects.
Bats live almost everywhere on Earth, except for the most extreme desert and polar regions. So chances are, there are bats where you live. Let’s meet a few of these superheroes of the nocturnal animal world in the Pacific Region.
Photo 1 - Marianas fruit bat: lives in Guam’s limestone forests and can have a wingspan of up to 3.5 feet! These gentle giants are important for pollinating and dispersing seeds of popular tropical fruits like coconut, papaya, and figs. Photo credit: Julia Boland/USFWS
Photo 2 - Townsend’s big-eared bat: Aptly named, their ears are over an inch long. That may seem small to you, but that’s a quarter of their entire body length! Can you imagine having ears almost a foot and a half long? Photo credit: Ann Froschauer/USFWS
Photo 3 - Pallid bats: Awesome listeners that use those big ears to detect the footsteps of their prey on the ground. Swooping in silently from above, these larger bats often eat scorpions and centipedes,crickets, grasshoppers and beetles.Photo credit: Ann Froschauer/USFWS
Photo 4: Spotted bats: Have the largest ears of any North American species, and those pearly pink ears and black and white spotted fur give it a very distinctive look. This bat also has one of the only echolocation calls that humans can hear. Photo credit: Paul Cryan
Photo 5: Hawaiian hoary bats: are the only land mammal native to the Hawaiian islands. The ‘ope‘ape‘ as it’s called in Hawaii arrived on the islands some 10,000 years ago. That was quite a migration from North America, over 2,400 miles across the ocean! Photo credit: Paul Bonaccorso
Batty for bats? Check out these great resources: