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bat at night in cave

How Do Bats See in the Dark?

Batman might not be able to fly, but the animal he’s named after sure can. In fact, bats are the only mammal that can fly.

Bats live in all parts of the world, and most of them are insectivores. That means they eat insects. The bats that live off fruit are called frugivores. (Side Note: If you eat meat and vegetables, you are called an omnivore.)

Bats have powerful lungs that help them breathe when flying at high speeds. They’re most active at nighttime, which means they’re nocturnal, and they usually hunt right after the sun goes down. Even though their vision is not as good as ours, bats can fly in the dark because they use echolocation.

With echolocation, bats can “see” their surroundings by emitting sounds that bounce off things before coming back to them. Bats then use the echo to guess how close the object is to them so they can avoid it. Have you ever been in a wide open space that echoed? Do you remember what it sounded like?

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Photo from Flickr Creative Commons, User batwrangler

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