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For the film, see Bats (film).
Ere the bat hath flown
His cloister'd flight.

Bats are are flying mammals in the order Chiroptera. The forelimbs of bats are webbed and developed as wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, as birds do, but instead flap their spread out digits, which are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium.

There are about 1,100 bat species worldwide, which represent about twenty percent of all classified mammal species. About seventy percent of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters. A few species such as the Fish-eating Bat feed from animals other than insects, with the vampire bats being the only mammalian parasite species. Bats are present throughout most of the world and perform vital ecological roles such as pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds. Many tropical plant species depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds.


Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 57.
  • The sun was set; the night came on apace,
    And falling dews bewet around the place;
    The bat takes airy rounds on leathern wings,
    And the hoarse owl his woeful dirges sings.
    • John Gay, Shepherd's Week, Wednesday; or, The Dumps.
  • Far different there from all that charm'd before,
    The various terrors of that horrid shore;
    * * * * * *
    Those matted woods where birds forget to sing.
    But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling.

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