Archive for Bats

Bats in Southeast Asia

Posted in Animals, Latest of Asienreisender with tags , , , on February 11, 2014 by Thim Kwai

There are plenty of bats around in Southeast Asia. In every bigger cave, especially in the many limestone mountains in the south of Thailand, parts of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, are usually hundreds or thousands of bats hanging upside down from the cave’s ceilings. That’s at least what the nocturnal animals do at daytime. At dusk they leave their hiding places and swarm out over many kilometers on the search for food.

There is a strong smell around there in the caves, coming from thei bats defecation. In daytime they sleep, and in nighttime they get lively and swarm out to hunt insects and other little animals for food. Bigger bats also feed from small mammals, rodents and other, smaller bats.

An interesting fact about bats is, that they are not birds, but mammals.

Their wings are actually membranes, who connect the bat’s hands and feet. Also the fingers are spanning the membran. These membranes consist of a double skin layer. It enables the bats to perform very artistic flying styles, changing the flight direction abruptly.

Bats produce a typical sound, a very high noise; in fact it’s much more than humans can hear, because bats scream in ultrasound. The human ear catches only the deepest part of the spectrum of the sound. It’s comparable with a whistle for dogs. The bats sound echos allows orientation for the small animals.

The eyes of bats are therefore not as good as human eyes; they see the world in black and white, some kinds even percept ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet radiation is emitted intensely by blooming flowers. They attract besides insects also bats, who nourish also from the nektar.

Bats also have a sense for magnetism and can orientate over long flights on earth’s magnetic field, like migrant birds do.

Among the 900 different kinds of bats on earth are only three who feed from blood of other animals (or humans). That gave the bats the image of vampires. These three kinds of vampires feed from blood only, but appear exclusively in greater parts of the Americas, not in Asia.

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