Q:

What is the food chain of a bat?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does one catch a bat?

    A:

    There are several options for catching a bat that include using a butterfly net or towel, trapping it underneath a bucket or similar item or using leather gloves to grab it. Leather gloves are not typically recommended unless the person is highly experienced, as a bat will try to bite when it is being grabbed.

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  • Q:

    What is the lifespan of a bat?

    A:

    The average lifespan of a bat is 20 years. This is a longer lifespan than most rodents of comparable size, which generally survive only one to two years.

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  • Q:

    What is the anatomy of a bat?

    A:

    Bats are the only mammals that can fly, which has resulted in their anatomy evolving for speed, maneuverability and aerial hunting. The bones of the forelimbs all elongate, becoming greater farther from the body. The bones and muscles of the wing are arranged so that the wing is spread and closed by a single muscle, allowing the arms to be opened and closed very quickly and efficiently with little effort.

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  • Q:

    What does a bat sound like?

    A:

    Bats emit a chattering sound when flying that is similar to a cricket's chirp. Bats also emit high pitched squeaking sounds when in distress. Bats can also be detected by the flapping sounds their wings make when in flight.

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