Q:

What is the food chain of a bat?

A:

Bats are both predator and prey in the food chain as these flying mammals eat many types of insects yet are eaten by hawks, owls, snakes, weasels and raccoons. The complete, generic food chain of a bat from bottom to top is as follows: plant, insect, bat, and a predatory bird, mammal or reptile.

Bats are vital to the food chain as these creatures consume insects by the billions. Colonies of bats have been known to eat tons of bugs every year. The 30 million bats living in Bracken Cave in Texas gobble 250 tons of insects every night. A small colony of 150 tiny brown bats can eat as many as 33 million rootworms in one summer, thereby saving farmers from potential crop damage. Bats eat all kinds of insects from moths to beetles.

Snakes, raccoons and weasels eat bats during the day when the creatures are still asleep. Bats can also be killed by birds that attack the mammals in roosts and peck them to death before consuming them. Fish sometimes grab the flying mammals when the skim low over the water looking for a meal.

In Australia, green tree frogs snag bats in their mouths as they fly past. In just a few gulps, the bats are in the frog's gullet. The frogs adapted themselves to live in small caves where thousands of bats fly in and out every warm night.


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