Do bats lay eggs? Bats do not lay eggs as they are mammals. Like other mammals, bats give birth to their pups and nurse them with milk from their bodies. Bats are considered one of the slowest reproducing animals globally, and female bats often only produce one offspring per year.
Since bats do not lay eggs, they don’t share as many similar ties with birds as we thought.
Bats are the only mammals that can truly fly. They make up one-fifth of the mammal population on Earth. There are over 1,000 species of bats around the world, making them one of the most prolific groups in Class Mammalia. They are also unique in how they navigate, using sound waves made by the bat (echolocation) instead of relying solely on sight.
To go into a little more depth on the main question, bats do give birth to a live creature instead of an egg. The baby bat, which is also called a pup, is raised similar to any other mammal (yes, including humans). The really cool thing about bat birth is how similar they are to the way humans, dogs, and cats all reproduce. After the mother bat gives birth to her pup, she has to continue to nurse and feed the pup as it grows older.
What bats do is entirely different from what a typical bird does. A bird, such as a sparrow, hawk, or robin, will build a nest and keep their hatchlings in the nest while they go out and get food. Birds hunt for grub and then return to feed their young by chewing the food and regurgitating it directly into the mouths of their offspring.
It’s a little less gross than it sounds, but bats feed their young similar to how humans feed their babies – they nurse them with milk until they are old enough to eat on their own. Baby bats stay with their mothers for about 3 – 4 weeks after birth. They don’t actually move out and leave their family (unless they have a rough three-week relationship), but they start to help out around their home and begin to take shifts with their mother to hunt for food at night.
At around week 3 or 4, the baby bats are attempting to learn how to fly. They’ll often fall out of the nest and forage for food by themselves. It isn’t until 8 or 12 weeks when a baby bat may fully learn how to fly.
Here are six interesting things that you didn’t know about bat birth.
1. Most Species of Bats Give Birth to Only One Pup at a Time
Due to their size and mammal type birthing process, most bats only are able to give birth to one pup at a time. Occasionally, bats can have twin pups, but it is highly unlikely.
Bats typically like to give birth when it’s warm out and often form colonies where groups of female bats all take turns to raise the young single pup during the late spring to early summer seasons.
2. Bats Gather in Colonies to Give Birth
Like I touched upon above, bats often gather into colonies called “maternity roosts” during their birthing season. Their birthing season, also called maternity season, occurs between late May and mid-August.
These bat maternity roosts are essentially groups of female bats who come together to take turns raising their young. Regardless of how many mother bats are in a maternity roost, all of the bats come together to form a unit to raise their young – similar to many human cultures who prioritize family life.
One very important note about bat maternity season – It illegal to harm a bat at anytime, but you can face even more penalties (depending on your state) for harming a bat during maternity season.
If you’re trying to rid a bat from your house, it becomes much more challenging to do during maternity season because if bats have taken place in your home and have given birth to a pup, you’re more than likely going to need to call an expert. The reason for this is because pups can’t fly, and you can’t harm them.
It’s a difficult and expensive combination to deal with but less difficult and expensive than it will be to deal with a hefty fine or jail time for harming bats.
3. Most Bat Pregnancies Last up to Nine Weeks
Bats have a somewhat long pregnancy, with most bat pregnancies lasting up to nine weeks. However, several other species of bats have a more prolonged pregnancy.
For instance, the pregnancy of a vampire bat can last up to 5 – 7 months. Vampire bats are very common in Central America, South America and Mexico due to their warmer and more humid climates. However, when referring to bats in general, many people are speaking about the little brown bat. The little brown bat is the one of the most common types of bats in the United States.
The pregnancy of a little brown bat usually varies from 7 – 9 weeks and takes place during the late May to mid-August months. The
4. Bats Give Birth Hanging Upside-down
Yes, you read that right – bats give birth while they hang upside down! If you don’t believe it, go search for a video of bats giving birth. It’s truly amazing to see.
The mother bat takes her talons and grabs onto whatever perch she’s hanging from. Then while hanging upside down, she pushes her pup out of her womb towards her feet. After giving birth and still hanging from her perch, the mother bat catches her pup in her wings to avoid letting the baby bat fall to the ground.
This requires the mother bat to have some pretty quick reflexes. If she doesn’t catch her baby directly after giving birth to it, the end result is not too good. Remember, baby bats can’t partially fly until about 3 or 4 weeks after birth, so the mother bat absolutely has to catch her pup while upside down.
5. Bats Usually Mate in the Fall or Early Winter
Remember in high school or college when it was prime “cuffing” or dating season during September through November? Yeah, It’s the same way for bats
That isn’t to suggest that humans only “date” during the Fall / Early Winter months. Unlike humans, bats only mate in the Fall to early Winter. Most bats generally mate starting in early September. The mating season typically lasts up until about mid-November as all desirable female bats are swooped up by their counterparts
Interestingly enough, male bats have a mating call that consists of high pitched chirps. To woo a female bat, the male bat will try to gain the female bats’ attention by flying next to her roost and then, will chirp at her.
Pretty smooth if you ask me.
6. Mother Bats Carry Their Young When They Fly
In order to keep their young safe, mother bats will actually carry their young in their wing until they are old enough to be left alone (usually 3-4 weeks).
However, if the baby bat pup becomes too heavy to carry, the mother bat will have to leave her pup on a nearby branch and stay a close distance away from her pup while scouring for food. If the mother bat cannot carry her young any longer and has to set her pup on a branch near her food source, she will often cry out to her baby pup and give reassurance that she is still close by.
Bats are very nourishing and protective of their young and often will continue to coddle and nurture their young as they form tight bonds as a family.
Over 1,100 different species of bats have been identified. This is approximately 20% of all of the mammals in the world.
Bat Species Over 1,100 different species of bats have been identified. This is approximately ¼ of all of the mammals in the world. They aren’t out there trying to get tangled up in the hair of humans either.
Fruit Bat: The Fruit Bat falls into the category of the Megabat and sometimes they are called the Flying Fox in some locations. There are many differences in their size from one location to the next.
Indiana Bat: The Indiana Bat is a medium-sized species. It can range in coloring from brown, black, or gray. They are only 1 or 2 inches in length when full grown. The weight is about ¼ of an ounce.
Vampire Bat: The Vampire Bat is a fascinating creature, and one that has been involved with legends for centuries. This particular species of bat features a short muzzle that is cone shaped.
Egyptian Fruit: Bat The Egyptian Fruit Bat is a smaller type of bat with a length of about six inches. However, they have a large wing span of about two feet. They also have a weight of less than half a pound.
Little Brown Bat: The Little Brown Bat is a species that is well known. It is very small with an overall body size that is from 3 inches to 3 ½ inches. They also weigh no more than half an ounce.
Giant Golden-Crowned Flying-Fox: The Giant Golden-Crowned Flying-Fox Bat is a rare species and one that features very long wings. In fact, they are so long that it is often seen with them wrapped around the body like a cloak.
Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat or Bumblebee Bat: The Kitti’s Hog-Nosed Bat has a very unique look to it. The fact that is so tiny also encourages the other name it is frequently called by – Bumblebee Bat.
There Are More Than 1,200 Species of Bats.
Bats are usually divided into two suborders: Megachiroptera (large Old World fruit bats) and Microchiroptera (small bats found worldwide). They range in size from the giant flying foxes, with wingspans up to 5 feet (1.5 meters), to the itty-bitty bumblebee bat, with only a 6-inch (15-cm) wingspan. There are even three different species of blood-drinking vampire bats.
Bats Are the Only Mammals Capable of Flight.
Like all true mammals, baby bats are nourished with milk from their mothers. Bats bear live young—usually only one, although some species can have up to three or four at a time. But no other mammal can fly like a bat can. “Flying” squirrels and similar mammals can only glide at best. In order to make flight possible, bats digest their food extremely fast, sometimes excreting within 30 to 60 minutes of eating. That helps them keep their weight down.
Bat Droppings Can Be Used to Make Gunpowder.
Speaking of bat droppings, also known as guano, they are high in potassium nitrate (saltpeter) and are often used as fertilizer. The saltpeter can also be extracted for use in gunpowder and explosives, and bat guano was an important resource for that purpose during the American Civil War. Bat guano has also been found to preserve fossils.
Not All Bats Hang Upside Down.
Almost all bat species hang upside down. Their feet have evolved to be relaxed in a clenched position (difficult for a human to imagine). When they’re ready to fly, they let go and gain momentum from falling, since their little legs and wings can’t give them the kind of lift birds get. However, there are six species of bats that don’t hang upside down. Most of these bats have suctioning pads on their limbs that let them stick to leaves or other surfaces.
Bats Aren’t Really Blind.
Only the smaller species of bats use echolocation as their main means of orienting themselves. Bigger bats can see better than humans. Sight is a blessing and a curse, however, because sight can override echolocation signals. For instance, a bat may fly into a window because it sees light outside, even if echolocation tells it the surface is solid.
Different bat species have different diets, including insects, nectar, pollen, fruit and even vertebrates. Megabats are mostly fruit, nectar and pollen eaters. Due to their small size, high-metabolism and rapid burning of energy through flight, bats must consume large amounts of food for their size. Insectivorous bats may eat over 120 percent of their body weight, while frugivorous bats may eat over twice their weight. They can travel significant distances each night, exceptionally as much as 38.5 km (24 mi) in the spotted bat (Euderma maculatum), in search of food. Bats use a variety of hunting strategies. Bats get most of their water from the food they eat; many species also drink from water sources like lakes and streams, flying over the surface and dipping their tongues into the water.
The Chiroptera as a whole are in the process of losing the ability to synthesize vitamin C. In a test of 34 bat species from six major families, including major insect- and fruit-eating bat families, all were found to have lost the ability to synthesize it, and this loss may derive from a common bat ancestor, as a single mutation. At least two species of bat, the frugivorous bat (Rousettus leschenaultii) and the insectivorous bat (Hipposideros armiger), have retained their ability to produce vitamin C.
The maximum lifespan of bats is three-and-a-half times longer than other mammals of similar size. Six species have been recorded to live over thirty years in the wild: the brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), Brandt’s bat (Myotis brandti), the lesser mouse-eared bat (Myotis blythii) the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), and the Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus). One hypothesis consistent with the rate-of-living theory links this to the fact that they slow down their metabolic rate while hibernating; bats that hibernate, on average, have a longer lifespan than bats that do not.
Another hypothesis is that flying has reduced their mortality rate, which would also be true for birds and gliding mammals. Bat species that give birth to multiple pups generally have a shorter lifespan than species that give birth to only a single pup. Cave-roosting species may have a longer lifespan than non-roosting species because of the decreased predation in caves. A male Brandt’s bat was recaptured in the wild after 41 years, making it the oldest known bat
Since bats are mammals, they do not lay eggs, but give birth to young. However, there are a few species of bats may have up to four pups in a litter. Female bats give birth to young while hanging upside down, then catch and place the young inside their pouches for safety.
For bats, pregnancy duration is often related to the diet of the species. Insectivorous bats have shorter pregnancies lasting around three months, while pregnancy in frugivorous species lasts around five months.
Bats are mammals, and like all other species in this group, embryos develop inside females, and females nurse their babies with milk. When bats are born, they already have milk teeth and their permanent adult teeth emerge later on. Like us, bats have lungs and a four-chamber heart.
Mother bats only have one pup at a time because until their baby is ready to fly, the young one stays latched on to its mother’s body.
During spring, bats return from migration or awaken from hibernation and the females begin having baby bats called “pups”. Bat pups are tiny when born, but grow up fast. If the baby loses its grip and falls, it will die.
Bats are by nature gentle animals. They do not attack people. People get into trouble with bats when they attempt to pick them up. Any wild animal is going to act defensively when someone attempts to pick it up.
Female bats give birth to babies in late May or early June. As with most mammals, the newborns are helpless and need their mother’s care to survive. A bat maternity colony starts to break up in mid-July as pups leave the roost.
Bats are largely nocturnal, meaning they are most active after sundown. Specifically, little brown bats emerge from their dark roosts two-to-three hours after dusk to feed. After feeding, they return to their roosts to sleep out the rest of the night and day hanging upside down.
Without touching the bat, use a cloth or a piece of paper to gently scoop the animal into a small container such as a ventilated shoebox. Put a soft cloth into the box to give the bat something to cling to. Cover the ventilated container and put it somewhere children and pets cannot disturb it.
Since their noses are much more sensitive, strong scents tend to scare them off. There are many essential oils available, but the ones that are popular among those who want to get rid of bats are cinnamon, eucalyptus, cloves, mint, and peppermint.
Bats give birth to their pups and nurse them with milk from their bodies. Bats are considered one of the slowest reproducing animals globally, and female bats often only produce one offspring per year.
Since bats do not lay eggs, they don’t share as many similar ties with birds as we thought.