Bats are able to walk but only clumsily. This is because their bodies have been adapted to fly and their legs only serve as attachment points on some surfaces. Crawling on the ground requires much energy from the bats since the leg bones have been poorly designed to move in this way.
The bat legs do have knees which point outwards or backwards. This is an adaptation so that they can crawl in a secure manner on ceilings or cave walls. The bats may control the shape of their wing surface while bats also have a membrane between their legs and tails. The bats have fragile bones meant to be used for fumbling locomotion, but they can still use enough force.
, even if bats are not known to commonly walk on the ground, vampire bats are able to walk and sometimes they can even sprint. They also have thicker legs compared to other bats, but the difference that this may make in their locomotion is yet to be known. Another type of bat that walks well are short-tailed bats. The vampire bats are able to walk; they can jump or run on the ground.
Even though bats may walk, only a few of them are able to do it on a regular basis. The lesser short tailed bat is found in New Zealand and it is capable of flying like other bats, but it has adapted to be able to carry out ground hunting through crawling or walking. The bats catch the prey through their senses and by pouncing instead of catching insects while flying. This bat is equipped with the strong hind legs, claws and feet with talons and has the capacity of folding the wings in a protective manner. This makes this type of bat agile while found on the ground.
Go back to the How to Get Rid of Bats page or email us if you have any other questions about Can bats walk on the ground?
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.