Q:

How do bats care for their young?

A:

Quick Answer

Female bats take care of their young at birth by holding them in a membrane pouch and nursing them. For some time after birth they may carry their tiny babies with them as they feed, but the mothers later leave them at the roost, returning frequently to feed them.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Female bats usually have only one baby at a time, possibly because of the need to fly and feed even while pregnant. When it is time to give birth, the females of some species hang head-up by their thumbs and catch their babies in a tail membrane, while other species hang head-down and catch the baby with their wings. The bat pups are born eyes closed and hairless and cling to their mothers immediately with their sharp claws and sometimes with their teeth.

Depending on the size of the bat species, bat pups may cling to their mothers while they fly and feed for a few days to a few weeks. When they are too heavy to carry, the mothers leave them holding onto a wall, branch, roof of a cave or other shelter while they search for food. The mortality rate of bat pups is high, as some baby bats fall from their perches and are unable to climb back up.

Depending upon the bat species, young bats fully develop their wings and gain the ability to fly within three weeks to four months. When they do, they are responsible for hunting their own food.

Learn more about Bats

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you kill bats?

    A: There are no safe yet effective ways to kill bats en masse. If a bat roost is an issue, it is better and usually easier to use netting over the holes to ge... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How much do bats weigh?

    A: The western pipistrelle bat is the smallest known species of bat in the United States, and it weighs less than a penny, while the greater mastiff bat is th... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do bats navigate?

    A: Most bats use sound or biological sonar, known as echolocation, to navigate. Bats emit sounds that bounce back like an echo and allow them to detect obstac... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where can vampire bats be found?

    A: The vampire bat is native to North, Central and South America, from Mexico to Argentina. There is only one positive confirmation of a vampire bat sighting ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore