Bats are not birds. They can fly like birds but are actually mammals.
Birds can eat 60 bugs per hour, while bats over 1000. This does not take into account size of insects.
Both bats and birds can fly. At first glance, they may seem to share similar characteristics. Birds have wings, bats have them too, albeit without feathers, and both spend a lot of time hovering in the sky. But there’s one thing that evokes curiosity, are bats birds?
Bats Are Mammals, Not Aves
So, while bats and birds look like the same kind of animal, they’re actually different creatures. That’s right, bats are not birds as some people believe. These flyers belong to two very distinct groups; bats are mammals and birds are aves.
As mammals, bats have mammary glands that are responsible for lactation. This allows females among them to milk their young babies that are in their infancy. Birds, on the other hand, don’t produce milk as they don’t have nipples.
Bats also give birth as opposed to birds that lay eggs. In terms of physical form, they’re also different as shown by the shape of their mouths. Bats have jaws and pointy teeth while birds have beaks without teeth.
The Only Flying Mammals On The Planet
If there are mammals that can fly, then bats are the only ones. Their thin skin membranes function as wings that stretch between their hands, limbs and body. Meanwhile, birds’ wings are stiff, feathered and differently shaped; allowing them to perform a wider variety of maneuvers in the air. They have tails.
Bats and birds are great hunters thanks to their air superiority where the two hold full control of air power over their preys. The majority of bats are insectivores and they come out at night to hunt insects.
Bats Are Not Blind As The Myth Says
Bats’ flight makes them excellent at what they do. This despite the fact that bats’ vision lacks color and sharpness. Well, at least they’re not blind as the myth says. To the contrary, their eyesight is good enough for hunting as proved by their adequacy of food.
Generally, bats are better insect hunters than birds, especially at night. They use echolocation to navigate and locate their prey in the dark. First of all, their mouth and nose send out sound waves to detect objects around them. Then after the waves hit something, they return echoes to the bats’ ears.
This ability allows the mammals to estimate an insect’s location, its size and shape; making it easy for them to find their dinner.
So the next time you see a bat you will know it is a flying mammal and not a bird.