There are lots of myths about bats – and most of them are exactly that, myths! Myths are stories people tell each other that are not true.
Let’s take a look at the common myths you may have heard about bats and see if they are true or false
Bats belong to a different group of mammals to rodents. They belong to the group called Chiroptera
Bats are blind
No – all bats can see although some rely a lot on using sound to find their way around in the dark.
Bats get tangled in hair
No – bat echolocation is really finely tuned and bats can easily avoid human hair.
There are just three types of vampire bats and they live in South America
Bats are rodents
Rodents are a group of mammals that include mice, rats and squirrels. Bats are also mammals but they are in a different group. Bats belong to a group of mammals called Chiroptera. This group is more closely related to humans and apes than to rodents.
Bats suck blood like vampires
Most bats around the world are insect eaters. There are quite a few fruit eating bats, and there are bats that eat pollen and nectar, fish, frogs and some even eat small birds or mammals. There are more than 1200 types or species of bat and just 3 of these are vampire bats. Vampire bats are found in South and Central America and they don’t suck blood, they drink it by licking a wound they make with their tiny razor sharp teeth. But you don’t have to worry, all Irish bats just eat insects!
There are always bats around at Hallowe’en
This is not usually true in Ireland anyway. The weather by the end of October is often pretty cold and wet. Bats start to hibernate during cold weather in late autumn, so the time of year that we most associate with bats is actually around the time that bats are least active. But feel free to bake some bat cookies or wear a bat costume, just don’t expect to see any real bats when you are out trick ‘r treating!
Bats are spooky!
Well – bats do fly at night, and maybe this is why people think they are spooky, but we think that they are pretty cute!
At Hallowe’en most of Irish bats have started to hibernate for winter
Now you have read lots of myths about bats – do you think you can answer the questions in this worksheet?