Bats live in a variety of cool, dark places, including caves, tree and rock crevices, attics and sheds. Bats spend the entire day sleeping and venture out during the night time hours. They hibernate in the winter due to scarcity of food during the colder months.
Bats that roost in caves typically do so in large groups. In certain areas, it is common to find groups of bats numbering in the millions or higher. They roost in high points in caves, so it is important for hikers and explorers to be aware of their surroundings when entering these dark areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), bats are extremely helpful to the ecosystem, but they are also known to carry diseases that cause illness and death in humans. Bats are known to transmit rabies, an infectious disease also found in dogs, raccoons and skunks. Bats can pass rabies to humans through bites or if their saliva comes in contact with an open cut or scratch.
Bats hang upside down when they sleep. Their muscles do not contract when hanging, so this position is completely comfortable. Additionally, bat claws contain a special locking mechanism that allows them to remain tightly gripped when hanging upside down, even if the bat has died.