Are bats intelligent

6 misconceptions about bats

Bats still have a bad reputation in many places, which results not least from the mistakes and false information about the animals that persist. We're putting an end to the bat spook.

First of all, they are not the mean, ominous beings that they are particularly fond of being portrayed on Halloween. In fact, bats are altruistic, explains Rob Mies, the head of a bat conservation organization based in Michigan.

Often they share their food with other members of their own species. For example, vampire bats choke up blood for other bats that couldn't get a meal.

Bats want our blood

Vampire bats weigh no more than 50 grams and although the mammals native to Central and South America have occasionally bitten humans, they mainly feed on bovine blood. Mies compares her approach with that of mosquitoes.

"They lick about a spoonful of blood and their saliva contains an anticoagulant enzyme that keeps the blood flowing," he explains.

This enzyme is also used in the development of medicinal anticoagulants and has the tell-tale name Draculin.

You are "blind as a bat"

This error is particularly untrue, because larger bats "can see three times better than humans," says Mies.

Generally they have very fine senses. Their large ears help small bats to use their echolocation, which they can use to pinpoint their prey.

Bats get caught in our hair

It may be due to the animals' low-flying skills that sometimes the impression arises that bats want to attack us.

One of the reasons why they often slide so barely over our heads is because they catch insects that buzz around near the ground.

So even if it looks like this: Bats aren't after our hairstyles.

“There are no species of bats that build nests,” says Mies - no matter how teased and cozy the hair looks.

Bats are not important

Lousy doesn't mind when people think bats are blind or have a hair fetish. But "when people think bats are worthless, that's the biggest problem."

The animals, for example, are “some of the most important seed distributors that contribute to the regeneration of a healthy rainforest,” explains Mies.

When fruit bats eat fruit, they distribute their seeds through their excretions, which are known as guano. A 1999 study showed that 300 plant species rely on fruit bats for their distribution. These animals "can potentially disperse seeds hundreds of kilometers".

Do you like to eat bananas? Avocados? Do you like margaritas? Thank you flying foxes. Just like bees, flying foxes are pollinators, as Mies explains. The U.S. According to Forest Service, the animals are responsible for pollinating around 300 types of fruit - and agaves, which are used to make tequila.

Not to mention, they kill vermin for free. A single animal can eat several thousand insects per night.

Your benefits for nature, but also for our economy, are enormous.