Is it true that bats prey on other animals? Are they carnivorous blood suckers? Do bats present a danger to humans and livestock? This article on a bat’s natural diet will further explain what bats actually eat in the wild, and this varies depending on the species.
The anatomy of a bat is an interesting topic to study about. As one of the largest groups of mammal species in the world, bats have a natural diet as explained below.
More than 50 percent of bats consume small insects. This is also good for the environment because they are pest controllers. However, certain species of bats also have an interest in fruits. Some bats love to feed on nectar while other bats are hunting animals due to their carnivorous nature. These bats prey on birds, lizards, frogs and other small mammals and fish. Some bats are similar to vampires in that they suck blood too.
The different eating habits can be broken down into some categories. Micro bats, for instance, only feed on insects. They can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in 60 minutes! They also gather the prey so that even the tiniest insects crawling can be hunted.
Fruit eater bats have a different shape of face that tends to be broader. They can eat round shape fruits, and some bats are good at reaching the nectar inside flowers. Fruit bat skulls are also shaped differently because they have binocular vision.
Vampire bats, however, prey on livestock. They can simply suck the blood out of an animal. Humans do not often encounter them, although some admittedly have been bitten and become blood donors unwillingly. How do these bats do it? The bat cuts a small skin tissue and sucks the blood out of an animal using their tongue. There is a chemical anti-coagulant that ensures they can continue sucking the blood that flows. This may be why many bats have the reputation of being connected with Dracula and other vampires.
Bats’ diets can vary quite a bit depending on the species, but they are all a vital part of the ecosystem – so much so that killing them would mean a threat to the life of humans too. Bat diets are often misunderstood. Many bats provide a wonderful service with their diet by eating thousands of insects that would otherwise overwhelm humans in their environment.
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We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.