Bats are a group of mammals that can fly. They have wings, but no feathers. The name Fledermaus comes from an old German form of the word “fluttern”. This means very restless flying.
Most species of bats eat insects. Larger bats also eat fruit, birds, fish, or small species of bats. The vampire bats drink the blood of animals.
In Europe, all bat species are endangered. They are therefore strictly protected. A mother has only one cub per year. The bats can therefore reproduce very poorly. In addition, there are fewer and fewer attics suitable for sleeping quarters. Many bats also die in wind turbines that are in unsuitable locations.
Their natural enemies are cats and some other predators, as well as various birds of prey. Their biggest problem is that because of modern agriculture, there are fewer and fewer insects living with us. Old trees with tree hollows are also cut down. Holes and crevices in buildings are also closed. Conservationists, therefore, hang up bat boxes and secure caves and tunnels.
In biology, bats form a suborder. The flying foxes are also a suborder. But they are clearly different from bats. Both groups together form the order of bats. In everyday life one sometimes speaks of bats, but mistakenly calls them bats.
How do bats live?
Bats are awake at night and sleep during the day. They hang upside down in trees, caves, or attics. They also hibernate in cold areas, preferably in caves and tunnels from mines or from the army.
The conservationists set up such bat boxes so that bats can sleep in them. Bats hunt at night. A certain organ in the head helps them to do this. This allows them to hear sound waves. They scream the scream hits a wall or a flying insect, and then they receive the echo, which is the sound waves bouncing back. This way they can find their way in the dark and catch their prey. Of course, bats can also see with their eyes, but not as well in the dark.
After mating, the mother carries her young in her stomach for six to ten weeks. That depends on how much food she finds. In the spring the mother gives birth to a single young.
The mother gives her young to drink her milk until around August. Then the boys are independent and the mother leaves them alone. The boys find the winter quarters with the others themselves.