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Bat

bats species flight mammal

Bat, nocturnal mammal, the only mammal capable of flight, a member of the order Chiroptera. There are almost 1,000 species of bats, accounting for about one-seventh of mammalian species. Bats generally live in caves, trees, roofs, and other enclosures, hanging upside down to sleep. Most are insectivorous (insect-eating), but some are vegetarian and yet others carnivorous—the 3 species of the family Desmodontidae are blood suckers, preying on birds and mammals. There are a few historical inaccuracies concerning the bat. It is not blind, it does not get tangled in hair, and it is not really aggressive. In fact, bats perform an important job by consuming insects and by depositing guano (manure), which can be used as fertilizer. Bats navigate their travel using high-frequency noises which they produce while in flight. These sounds create echoes that allow the animal to determine distance and direction, a method of navigation known as echolocation.

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