Tom Jackson, in his book “The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals of the World”, says of bats, “They are grouped in the Chiroptera order of mammals. They are the only mammals that can truly fly. Their wings are made from thin membranes of skin stretched between elongated arms and legs. Most bats are active at night and “see” the world through sound. They emit high-pitched calls and interpret the echoes that bounce back to build up pictures of their surroundings.”
There are several bat types and species including the Evening bat, Ghost-faced bat, Banana bat, Wrinkle-faced bat, Spix’s disc-winged bat, Velvety free-tailed bat, Pallid bat, Ghost bat, Fishing bulldog bat, Peter’s disc-winged bat, Mexican free-tailed bat, Broad-eared bat, Big free-tailed bat, Western bonneted bat, Mexican funnel-eared bat, Lesser bulldog bat, Greater bulldog bat, Big bonneted bat, Pamell’s moustached bat, Gervais’s funnel-eared bat, Antillean fruit-eating bat, Hairy-legged vampire bat, Geoffroy’s tailless bat, Mexican long-tongued bat, Cuban fruit-eating bat, Seba’s short-tailed bat, White-winged vampire bat, et al.
The Common vampire bat, also known as Desmodus rotundus: They have dark upper bodies with grey undersides. Their upper front teeth are very long and pointed, and their limbs are adapted for walking along the ground. They feed on blood and live for an estimated 10 years. They may be found in the caves, hollow trees and unused buildings in Mexico and Uruguay.
Tent-building bat, also known as Uroderma bilobatum: These have four white stripes on their faces, with pointed “nose leaves”. They feed on fruit, pollen, nectar, insects and how long they live, no one knows. They may be found in the palm and banana forests of southern Mexico and northern.
Dwarf bonneted bat, also known as Eumops bonariensis: The smallest of the bonneted bat species and have ears smaller than most of their relatives. Their hair is pale at the base and white at the tip. The hair is long for a bat reaching up to 0.2 inches. They feed on beetles, moths, and other insects and may be found in the dry forests of Mexico, Central America, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.
Thumbless bat, also known as Furipterus horrens: It derives its name from a missing thumb claw as most bats have claws sticking out of the leading edge of the wing. The long fur on its head covers the mouth. They feed on insects and live in the forest caves of Central America, northern South America and Trinidad.
Pocketed free-tailed bat, also known as Nyctinomops femorosaccus: It’s tail extends beyond the skin membrane which forms the wing and other flight surfaces. The “pockets” are produced by folds in the skin that joins the legs to the arms. They feed on insects and dwell in the deserts of Southern California, south-eastern New Mexico, western Texas and Mexico.
- The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals of the World by Tom Jackson