Bats have received a lot of attention over centuries in books and movies, and it hasn't always been fair to them. Aside from being the only flying mammal, bats are more common than you might think. In fact, bats make up 20% of all mammals - there are more than 1,300 species of bats throughout the world, living on all continents except antarctica.
With so many bats among us, what do they do? Bats play a tremendous role in our ecology system. They are protectors, planters and pollinators for our gardens, forests and communities. They eat insects that would otherwise require pesticides, and in addition to pollinating, they help spread seed, diversifying vegetation. Find more information about common bats in your area by clicking on the images below.
Are you afraid of Bats?
We know that that bats aren't like they've been portrayed in books and movies, that's a start. However, some bats have names that make sound, well, less cute. Meet Patrick. He's a ghost bat - a friendly ghost bat. Patrick lives at the Australian Bat Clinic in Australia where he was taken after an accident in the wild. Check out this friendly ghost and learn a little more about just how smart and not-so-scary they can be.