Q:

What color are bats?

A:

Quick Answer

Bats occur in a variety of color schemes, but most bat species are brown, gray or black. Some bats have reddish-brown colors as well. Bats do not rely heavily on their coloration for survival, as their nocturnal activity pattern allows them to hide in the darkness of the night. During the day, bats usually sleep in protected places, such as caves or tree hollows, where they are safe from predators.

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Full Answer

Bats are the only mammals that are capable of true, powered flight. They have wing-like membranes that stretch from their rear legs to their front fingers, and extend to the bats’ sides, where they connect with the body. Their capability for flight means that bats are safe from many terrestrial predators, such as cats, foxes and raccoons. However, snakes sometimes hunt bats where they sleep or catch them as they exit their caves.

Bats usually hunt insects, sip nectar from flowers or consume fruit. None of these food sources require cryptic coloration to hide from their prey. Contrary to popular perception, bats are not blind, and some species see quite well. Bats find fruits and flowers by sight and smell, but they catch insects through echolocation. Some bats capture vertebrates as well, such as lizards, frogs and rodents.

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