Bats - the only true flying mammals

Bats are the only mammals capable of long, sustained flight and have evolved to be the most widely distributed mammals on Earth. Most bats are nocturnal animals, meaning they search for prey at night and sleep during the day. As they have poor vision, bats emit echos to detect and locate their prey in the dark.

Marvel at the Little Pied Bat, found roosting in caves with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius! Learn how fast a Black Flying-fox can fly and how far they fly to get food. Explore some extinct species like Australonycteris clarkae from the Eocene age over 40 million years ago. It is the oldest bat from the Southern Hemisphere and one of the oldest in the world.

Australia is home to over 90 species of bats, covering many different habitats. Contrary to popular belief, not all bats live in caves. Bats can be found in trees, mountains, deserts, rock crevices, barns, and rooftops.

A few species of bats, such as the white-winged and hairy-legged vampire bats, purely feed on animal blood. However, bats have diverse diets that include more than just blood. They eat nectar, pollen, fruit, birds, insects, frogs, lizards, and many more.

Find out more about some of Australia’s bat species and where bats are found.

Bat factsheets

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