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Bat  What is a Bat?

Brandt's Bat - Photo © Copyright 2002 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
To help you identify the different bats in Britain there's a fact-filled and superbly illustrated fold out chart in the Nature Shop - click here

• Bats are the only mammals which can truly fly.

• Bats have fur or hair and are warm blooded.

• Their babies are born live, and they feed on their mothers milk.

• There are 16 different bat species in the U.K. and, because their numbers have diminished so much in recent years, they all are protected by law.

• Bats are not flying mice. They are more closely related to humans than they are to mice.

• Bats do not routinely get tangled in people's hair

• Bats are not blind. They have quite good eyesight, and they can also see in total darkness by using echolocation

• None of the bats in Britain feed on blood. They all eat insects such as moths, mosquitoes and midges

• The risk of catching the disease from a bat is extremely low.

• Bats belong to the mammalian order called 'Chiroptera', which means "hand-wing". The bones in a batís wing are just like those in the human arm and hand, except that the bat finger bones are greatly elongated and connected by a double membrane of skin to form the wing.

Bat Skeleton
Bat skeleton showing the arm and elongated finger bones

Opened bat wing showing membrane connecting the bones

Track Down More Info

Bat Identification Charts
Bat Calls on CD - Learn to Identify Different Species
Bat Detectors
UK Safari Bat Section
What is Echolocation?
What does a bat sound like?
What is a tragus?
Links to Bat Groups in Britain

Bat Conservation Trust national (UK) helpline: 0845 130 0228 (9am to 1pm, 2pm to 5:30pm Mon - Fri except Bank Holidays.

 © 2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved