Bats ( lat.Microchiroptera ) - a generic name for representatives of the order of bats, with the exception of winged birds . For a long time, bats were considered as a suborder until, according to karyological and molecular genetic data, it was shown that this group is a team: representatives of the superfamily Rhinolophoidea are more related to winged animals than other bats. Nevertheless, in the Russian-language scientific and popular science literature, the name continues to be used in its former meaning. In fact, this name includes representatives of 6 families belonging to Rhinolophoidea, and 14 families, now united in the suborder Yangochiroptera; bats are also called representatives of fossil families of the order, some of which, apparently, are older than the division of living groups, including winged birds.
Illustration from Ernst Haeckel's book Kunstformen der Natur , 1904
|International scientific name|
Microchiroptera Dobson , 1875
In general, bats differ from winged bats by the following characteristics (although there are exceptions):
- there is no claw on the second finger of the forelimbs ;
- the outer ears are usually complex in shape, often have a developed tragus or anti-tragus, a folded posterior edge, etc.
- overall sizes are usually small (on average, the body weight of bats is 4-10 g), although among insects there are those that are larger than the smallest winged birds;
- the facial section of the skull is shortened;
- eyes, as a rule, are small and do not play a leading (and even more so - exceptional) role in orientation in space;
- cheek teeth retain the system of tubercles and ridges lost at the winged wings;
- all bats have developed ultrasonic echolocation.
Most feed on insects , but large bats (for example, a giant evening party ) can feed on birds , lizards , frogs , few on fish , and bats are known to prey on other species of bats. In South America, there are three species of bats ( vampires ) that feed on the blood of vertebrates - birds and mammals. Some species are herbivores: they feed, like wings, fruits, berries, nectar, pollen, nuts (for example, leafy bears ).
An insectivorous bat can eat up to 200 mosquitoes per hour of hunting  .
Almost all bats (as well as bats) are nocturnal , and sleep during the day. Due to the special fragile structure of bones, bats are completely defenseless on the ground. They cannot move on their paws and push off the ground, such as birds. Therefore, in the afternoon, bats sleep upside down. This position allows them to start flying directly during the fall. In addition, bats often arrange cozy shelters for themselves, hiding in cracks in trees, rocks or in cracks in buildings. Cavities in trees, caves, grottoes and various artificial structures, both aboveground and underground, can serve as shelters. Bats are able to fall into a stupor, accompanied by a decrease in metabolic rate, respiratory rate and heart rate, many are able to fall into prolonged hibernation (up to 8 months).
Thanks to the ability to regulate the metabolic rate, many insectivorous bats can go without food for a long time, but because of the large area of the winged membranes they quickly lose moisture and can die from dehydration without free access to it. In the active state, like all small mammals, they have a very high metabolic rate, which requires, accordingly, a lot of food; on average, the insectivorous bat eats about a third of its own weight per night. In one summer, a colony of hundreds of individuals eats about 350-700 thousand insects (many of which are pests of agriculture and forestry), a large colony can destroy more than 10 million insects.
The range of bats practically coincides with the range of the bats squad, which covers all continents except Antarctica, and all climatic zones except the tundra, the polar regions, and also with the exception of some oceanic islands.
Bats find objects that block their path, emitting sounds inaudible to humans and picking up their echoes reflected from objects. Before the discovery of ultrasonic echolocation , bats were thought to have extrasensory perception . They were deprived of the opportunity to use vision, covered the wings with a dense varnish to make it impossible to feel the air currents, and still they avoided the obstacles in the experimental chamber  .
Studies by Dr. O. Henson, an anatomist at Yale University, showed that at the time of the emission of reconnaissance ultrasounds, the muscles in the ears of bats close the auricles to prevent damage to the hearing aid. The famous researcher of echolocation of bats was also a zoologist Donald Griffin  .
During the flight, bats sing songs using complex combinations of syllables at high frequencies (due to their ability to echolocation). They create ultrasonic waves from 40 to 100 kHz . The call of the Brazilian folded lip includes from 15 to 20 syllables. Caring for the female, each male sings his own song, although in general the melodies of all the songs are similar. The difference lies in the individual combination of different syllables. Sophisticated voice messages are used not only for courtship, but also for identifying each other, indicating social status, determining territorial boundaries, raising offspring, and counteracting individuals invading foreign territory. According to biologist Michael Smoterman, no mammal other than humans has the ability to communicate using such complex voice sequences. The voice center, responsible for organizing complex sequences of syllables, is slightly higher in bats than in humans, and scientists cannot yet determine where it is located  .
Echolocation signals in cubs develop from invocation cries  .
Bats that feed on fish (such as the Mexican fish-eating mouse ) patrol the water surface at night, emitting very strong echolocation signals. However, these signals do not penetrate the water column. The mouse will not detect fish under water, but will immediately find if the fish pops out at least a small part of the body from the water  .
It should be noted that echolocation does not always help bats find food. It happens that some insects manage to hear the squeak of bats from afar and thus escape. And butterflies from the bear family send night signals to night hunters, with the help of which they indicate their inedibility or seek to hide their whereabouts by drowning out someone else's signal.
Echolocation of bats varies in different families. Horseshoes emit signals through the nose, and these signals are short (50–100 ms) ultrasonic transmissions with a constant frequency of 81–82 kHz, but at the end of the signal the frequency drops sharply by 10–14 kHz. And smooth-bats emit significantly shorter (2-5 ms) signals through the mouth with a frequency that during this time falls from 130 to 30-40 kHz  .
Bats are able to detect an obstacle from wires at a distance of 17 meters. The detection range depends on the diameter of the wire. A wire with a diameter of 0.4 mm will be found from a distance of 4 meters, and a diameter of 0.08 mm from 50 cm. The wavelength of typical location signals of a bat is about 4 mm. However, the mouse reacts not only to the thickness, but also to the length of the wire, as a result of which, with a sufficient length of the length of wire, the wire will be detected.
Bats are a natural reservoir of rabies and, according to the WHO , the Marburg and Ebola viruses included in the group of especially dangerous infections are a list of the most dangerous pathogenic viruses known to humans that cause fatal diseases. There is evidence of bats being involved in transmission. [five]
Bats in Culture
- In the LEGO line (LEGO Chima), one of the Alien clans is the bat clan.
- European dragons and demons are traditionally portrayed with bat wings.
- In the novel " Dracula " vampires first began to turn into bats.
- The stylized images of a bat are the symbols of Batman and Batgirl .
- The bat (“non-volatile mouse” due to a damaged wing) is a companion of Wolfhound  (in the film, the flying fox Lily ( Pteropus lylei ) plays this role
- Bat Rouge is a character in the Sonic the Hedgehog game series.
- In some episodes of the television series Jurassic Portal , giant blind and flightless descendants of bats from the future appear, capable of gnawing a lion.
- In the second series of the film “ Wild World of the Future ” there are deadly people - predatory social bats with a wingspan of 1.5 m.
- One of the monsters in the movie “The Nymphomaniac Savage in Hell of the Dinosaurs ” is a mutated bat. This becomes clear when he is shown hanging upside down on the ceiling of the cave.
- Ludwig is a bat from the animated series Fairies .
- In the second season of the animated series Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), scientist Kirby O'Neill turns into a bat.
- Zubat, Golbat, Krobat, Wubat, Swubat, Neubat and Neuvern - bats Pokemon .
- In the animated series “ Duck Tales ” in the series “The First Zigzag Crash”, heroes are attacked by scratches - giant white bats.
- In the cartoon Cat Trap , Intermouse agent Lazy Dick is captured by a gang of bats.
- In the cartoon " Dog in Boots ", bats save the protagonist and transport him back to France.
- In the animated series " Chip and Dale Rush to the Rescue " in the series "My Friend is a Bat", a cute bat Foxglove appears.
- In the Resident Evil 5 video game, one of the bosses is Popokarimu, a huge cross between a bat and a caterpillar. It occurs twice in the game: the first time - in the mountains, the second - in the tombs, as a mini-boss.
- In the animated series My Little Pony. Friendship is a miracle ”, in the series“ Bats! ”, The characters solve the problem of fruit bats devastating Applejack apple farm.
- At the heart of BatPaper identity.
- In the animated series Adventure Time , the character Marceline (the vampire queen) can turn into a bat.
- In the Transformers universe, there is a Decepticon cassette transforming into a bat - ratbat
- In the Monster High line, the character of Draculaura has a bat pet.
- In the series Kamen Rider Kiva , the main character Vataru Kurena has a pet Kivat 3rd which is also the main device for turning into a rider
- In the series Kamen Rider Build, one of the main antagonists of Night Knight (aka Gentoku Himuro) is stylized as a bat, which reminds Kamen Ryder Kivu.
- Count von Znak , the character of Sesame Street , has four tame bats: Grisha, Misha, Sasha and Tatyana.
- The Spanish football club Valencia is nicknamed Los Murciélagos (Bats).
- Popular science film “ Wildlife Predators: Bats ”
- Morozov V.P. Entertaining bioacoustics: stories about the language of emotions in the animal and human world. - second. - M .: “Knowledge”, 1987. - S. 30-36. - 208 p.
- David Myers. Psychology. - Mn. : “Potpourri”, 2006. - 848 p. - ISBN 985-483-633-9 .
- Griffin D.R. Echo in the life of humans and animals. Per. from English K. E. Willer. Ed. M.A. Isakovich. - M .: Fizmatgiz, 1961 .-- 110 s.
- Bats talked to everyone . newspaper.ru. Date of treatment January 7, 2011. Archived on August 28, 2011.
- WHO Newsletter November 2012 Archived July 30, 2010 at Wayback Machine Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever.
- Naumov N.P., Kartashev N.N. Zoology of vertebrates. - Part 2.— Reptiles, birds, mammals: A textbook for a biologist. specialist. Univ. - M .: Higher. School, 1979.- 272 p., ill.
- Mosiyash S. S. Flying at night. - M .: Knowledge, 1985.
- Bats // Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary : in 86 volumes (82 volumes and 4 additional). - SPb. , 1890-1907.
- Bats // Small Encyclopedic Dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron : in 4 volumes - St. Petersburg. 1907-1909.
- Bats // Great Soviet Encyclopedia : [in 30 vol.] / Ch. ed. A.M. Prokhorov . - 3rd ed. - M .: Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969-1978.