1. They eat everything. The eating habits of bats are different depending on the species, but overall there is something for all tastes. Most prefer insects, while Megachirotteri, which include large species from tropical countries, feed on fruit and vegetables. There are carnivorous species, others that do not disdain the pollen of flowers, others (the Noctilio, called fishermen bats) that catch little fish. The Desmodontids are the famous "vampire bats": with their sharp teeth they cut into the victim's skin (small animals but also cattle) and suck their blood.
2. They have very long lives. Despite being so small, they are strangely very long-lived. It is well known that small animals usually do not live as long as large ones. The Brandt bat (Myotis brandtii), which as an adult weighs even about ten grams, can exceed the venerable age of 40: a record, in relation to its tiny size. Studies have also been conducted on the genome of this small mammal, looking for information that can help us understand degenerative diseases and perhaps even lengthen our life span.Read also: all the secrets of bats
3. They have a very strong immune system. In addition to being long-lived, bats get little sick. Various studies have been conducted on the immune system of these animals, healthy carriers of terrible diseases such as Ebola, Hendra, SARS and above all of rabies. It is not yet clear what causes the super immunity of bats. Understanding it could help us counter many infectious diseases.A Uroderma bilobatum, a tiny bats (does not reach 7 cm in length) that feed on fruit. |
4. I am in danger because of a fungus. Despite their incredible immune system, bats also have powerful enemies. The most serious threat of recent years comes from a fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes a very serious disease in those small mammals, called white nose syndrome due to the white crust that forms on the nose, wings and ears of infected specimens . This disease has already caused the death of millions of animals: in 2014 a model was proposed to explain the course of the disease, from infection to bat death during hibernation.
5. They are worth a lot of money! Many bats are insectivores and therefore have a fundamental role in agriculture, freeing crops from insects and parasites in a natural way. They are also important for the production of guano which is deposited in caves where the colonies find shelter and which is used as a fertilizer. Finally, bat meat is considered a delicacy: not here, but in some regions of the world, for example Indonesia.