How Long Can Bats Live Without Food or Water?

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Bats can survive up to 24 hours without food or water. The exact amount of time depends in part on the bat’s size, species, the time of year and whether it is nursing its young.

Flight is an energy expensive form of movement, which means bats must consume up to 110 percent of their body weight in food every night. Some species of bats hibernate, which greatly reduces their metabolism. In this case, it can survive for up to six months without hunting. Many bats are insectivores and have proven useful to farmers by eating insects which prey on their crops.

How Often Do Bats Eat?

Without food or water, bats can live for months. Some bats spend months hibernating, where they live without food or water. There are over 1,300 species of bat, so this will vary across different types of bat. Some bats eat fruit, others like bugs, and some other bats are carnivorous and drink blood. Bats’ weight will range from .07 ounces to 3lbs, so they don’t have to eat much to consume their whole body weight.

Consuming more than 100 percent of their body weight does more than fuel flight, it helps develop fat reserves to aid in migration and hibernation. Bats are not marsupials, so they don’t have to carry around offspring while flying. Bats typically eat for an hour or two before having a rest, according to Terminix.

How Long Can Bats Live?

Most bats won’t live longer than 20 years. There are six species of bat known to live longer than 30 years. The U.S. Department of the Interior reports one bat living 41 years. Bats are more likely to succumb to disease or deforestation rather than natural predators. 

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