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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.


  • Mad Hatter: Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
    How I wonder what you're at!
    Up above the world you fly,
    Like a tea tray in the sky.
    Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
    How I wonder what you're at!
  • Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot, so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible... a... a... [...] a bat! That's it! It's an omen... I shall become a bat!
    • The Batman Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom, Detective Comics #33 (November 1939), written by Bill Finger
  • I assume we all believe that bats have experience. After all, they are mammals, and there is no more doubt that they have experience than that mice or pigeons or whales have experience. I have chosen bats instead of wasps or flounders because if one travels too far down the phylogenetic tree, people gradually shed their faith that there is experience there at all. Bats, although more closely related to us than those other species, nevertheless present a range of activity and a sensory apparatus so different from ours that the problem I want to pose is exceptionally vivid (though it certainly could be raised with other species). Even without the benefit of philosophical reflection, anyone who has spent some time in an enclosed space with an excited bat knows what it is to encounter a fundamentally alien form of life.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

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.
  • Encyclopedic article on Bat on Wikipedia
  • The dictionary definition of bat on Wiktionary
  • Media related to Chiroptera on Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Chiroptera on Wikispecies