With Halloween coming up, it’s the perfect time to talk about these amazing creatures. A lot of people associate bats with spooky things—the dark, creepy old houses, caves and the nighttime woods.
Bats are also one of the iconic symbols of Halloween, along with the jack-o-lantern and sheet-style ghosts. Why? They’re just nocturnal bird/mammal hybrids.
The answer is vampire bats, which don’t even inhabit the U.S. Vampire bats are the only species of bat that prey on mammals and occasionally birds, so they are named after a blood-sucking fictional monster.
Don’t condemn vampire bats as spooky and evil for preying on helpless cattle. That’s the circle of life, folks. They need to eat, just like us. Also, I’m pretty sure humans have preyed on helpless cattle more than bats ever have. Just think of our meat industry before you’re grossed out by vampire bats.
Furthermore, have you ever seen the face of a bat? They’re actually pretty cute. The only thing that makes them look weird is their leathery wings that they wrap around themselves like a cape. My theory is that they have cape-like wings because many bat species are tiny superheroes that rid the world of evil—otherwise known as bugs.
Without bats, the insect population would soar. Insects already outnumber humans by an astronomical amount. Luckily they’re at the bottom of the food chain and our fuzzy nocturnal friends think they’re a tasty snack. According to nature.org, “Bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour and often consume their body weight in insects every night, helping keep bug populations in check.”
On top of that, bats that eat fruit play a role in the pollination process, just like bees. They also are the only flying mammals to inhabit the Earth and they rely on echolocation rather than sight.
Bats are one of the most unique mammals on our planet and they are extremely beneficial to our environment. So whenever I see a bird-like figure flutter overhead after dark, I don’t feel a shred of fear. Instead, I feel a surge of happiness that there are less mosquitos in the world thanks to some fuzzy superheroes.