A lot of people are scared of bats, so given our proximity to Halloween, we thought we’d remind you of how polite they are! Today, we stumbled upon the cutest video of a baby bat flapping its wings. What struck us — other than how adorable it is — is just how well-mannered this lovely creature proves to be.
In the video — published on YouTube by Batzilla the Bat, a user that only publishes baby bat videos — the bat yawns and covers its mouth with its right wing. How polite is that? Not even your five-year-old has learned to do that yet. I don’t even do that. And I’m much older than your kid... and this bat.
Bats are the only flying mammals and they’re incredibly diverse. There are more than 1,100 bat species in the world, according to the Nature Conservancy, and more than 70 of them are endangered. (A recent study showed that bats are adapting to the noises of our cities, though, which is good news.)
Bats have a spooky rep: one species, called the vampire bats, feed entirely on blood (the only mammal to do so). But if you’re scared of bats, you may have missed how amazing they are. So as we start to see them used as Halloween decor, here are some neat things about bats to keep in mind.
Bats can "see" in the dark by using echolocation — they basically use sound waves and echoes to determine where objects are and fly around. Most bats produce echolocation sounds through their larynx, but some click their tongues or use their nostrils.
Bats are key for ecosystems
And these creatures are also key for ecosystems. Bats eat a lot of insects, including some damaging pests like the corn earworm moth, which attacks sweet potato, spinach, squash, and watermelon. They also pollinate plants and disperse seeds.
Maybe I love bats so much because I grew up and lived in cities my whole life, and bats were some of the few animals around — like pigeons, but a thousand times cooler. Whenever a bat entered my elementary school courtyard, late in the afternoon, my friends were afraid the bats would get tangled in their hair. I was so proud of myself as a 10-year-old that bats didn’t scare me — maybe because I had short hair, or because I just find bats to be cute.
Look at the video. You won’t deny that baby bats are adorable. So by all means, put up your bat decorations for Halloween, but love them for more than their scares.