Bat Facts for Kids

A Bat Flying
  • Name: Bat
  • Order: Chiroptera
  • Suborders: 4
  • Families: 18
  • Total Living Species: 1,200
  • Distribution: Worldwide (except Antartica and the Artic)
  • Length: Between 1.14 and 67 inches (varies by species)

21 Bat Facts for Kids

  1. Bats are mammals that can fly and are members of the Chiroptera order.
  2. The oldest fossils of bats are over 50 million years old.
  3. There are more than 1,300 species of bats found across the globe.
  4. Bats are the second largest order of mammals and make up 20% of all described mammal species.
  5. Bats can be found in virtually every habitat worldwide, except for Antarctica, the Artic and a few remote islands.
  6. Most bat species are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are active at night.
  7. Bats are the only mammals that can sustain continuous flight.
  8. Some species of bats can have a lifespan greater than 30 years.
  9. Bats have the longest lifespan compared to other mammals similar in size.
  10. The bat species with the shortest wingspan is the Kitti’s hog-nosed bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai), with a wingspan between 1.1 and 1.3 inches.
  11. The bat species with the longest wingspan is the giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), with an average wingspan of 5.6 feet.
  12. Bats are divided into two separate groups, microbats and megabats.
  13. The majority of the known bat species are microbats.
  14. Microbats are carnivores, while megabats are usually herbivores, but some megabat species are considered omnivores.
  15. An example of a microbat is the spectral bat (Vampyrum spectrum).
  16. An example of a megabat is the Halmahera blossom bat (Syconycteris carolinae).
  17. Vampire bats are species of microbats that feed on the blood of mammals.
  18. There are only three species of bats that are considered vampire bats and use blood as their sole source of food.
  19. The three species of vampire bats are the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata), and the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi).
  20. Bat droppings (poop) are known as guano.
  21. Bracken Cave, located in Texas, has the largest population of bats in the world. The bat population can reach up to 20 million individuals in the summer.

Additional Resources with Bat Facts

  • Learn About Bats – Discover more about bats and what they are on the National Geographic website.
  • Bats: Fuzzy Flying Mammals – Find more bat facts and information about these flying mammals on the Live Science website.
  • Bats – Explore the San Diego Zoo website to learn more about bats.