Bat Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Wendy McDougal

Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education.

Bats are furry animals that can fly, making them very unique. They are found almost everywhere in the world. If you'd like to learn more about these interesting creatures, keep reading!

Winged Creatures in the Night

Imagine you're outside when it's getting dark, and a shadowy creature flies past you. At first, you might think it's a bird, but then you realize it's actually a bat! You don't have to be afraid, though. That bat is likely trying to find insects to eat. It doesn't want to hurt you. In this lesson we'll uncover interesting facts and features about these unique animals.

What Are Some Characteristics of Bats?

Did you know that a bat is a mammal? A mammal is a type of animal that has fur or hair on its body and feeds its babies milk when born. Bats are special because they are the only mammals that can truly fly.

A bat's body is covered head to toe in fur. Many bats look like mice with wings! Bats are able to fly because their front limbs are actually webbed. The webbing is a layer of skin that creates a wing that is very thin but strong. No other mammals have this unusual feature.

Townsends big-eared bat in flight
Bat in flight

Bats have sharp teeth, but hardly ever use them for biting people or attacking animals. Out of over a thousand different species of bats, only three types are truly vampire bats. For the rest, teeth are mainly used for the same thing we use our teeth for: eating.

Bats come in a variety of different sizes. Many bats are fairly small, about the size of a mouse. The smallest bat is called the bumblebee bat, and you can probably guess why. It is tiny; its body is about the size of your thumbnail. The largest bat is called the flying fox. It has a wingspan of 5-6 feet. That is one big bat!

Flying fox bat has a face like a fox!
Flying fox bat

Bats are found almost everywhere in the world. However, they don't live in extreme deserts or the North and South Pole.

When Can We See Bats?

Almost all bats are nocturnal creatures. What does this mean? It means that they come out during the night and sleep during the day. This is opposite of most humans. So right about the time you are going to bed, bats are just waking up. During the day, bats are tucked away in dark caves, buildings, tree cavities, and in all sorts of other nooks and crannies.

Colony of bats sleeping in a cave
Bats in a cave

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