A bat in the wild.

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Bats really stand out in the animal world. They are the only mammals that can fly, and they live much of their lives hanging upside down. Most species are only active at night, dusk and dawn, spending their days in dark caves. Many bats have developed adaptations that let them find their way (and their prey) in complete darkness. Bats are also well-known for sucking blood, though in actuality, there are only a few specific species that feed this way.

Like all true mammals, baby bats are nourished with milk from their mothers. Bats bear live young usually only one, although some species can have up to three or four at a time. But no other mammal can fly like a bat can. “Flying” squirrels and similar mammals can only glide at best. In order to make flight possible, bats digest their food extremely fast, sometimes excreting within 30 to 60 minutes of eating. That helps them keep their weight down.