out a series of mugshots of some of the weirdest looking mammals on the
have some pretty, uh, shall we say "interesting" looking faces. All
those gigantic ears and weird flat noses might look very strange to us, but
every little oddity on a bat's face is there for a reason! And most of the
time, it has to do with enhancing their ability to find food using a very
unique method of hunting. Since they hunt at night, bats use echolocation rather
than sight to locate their food. They call out in a series of high frequency
chirps and squeaks, and by analyzing the sound the echoes of their calls make
around them, they can tell precisely where tasty moths are fluttering in the
night just waiting to be caught up and eaten.
Those big ears help enhance the bat's sense of hearing, which is critical for
catching up their echoes and accurately locating prey. The fleshy lobes and
flaps around their noses and mouths often help them to focus the intense, high-pitched
squeaks they use not only to locate prey, but also navigate and communicate
with other bats.
These bats may look utterly bizarre to us, but I bet they think we're pretty
odd looking, too! And just as there is a diversity of people on Earth, there is
a great diversity of bats, as well. Sadly, however, many of these bat
populations in the wild are beginning to decline-- it's up to us to take action
to protect these remarkable mammals!