The bat is the only flying mammal. Although some other mammals, such as certain varieties of squirrels or lemurs, are referred to as "flying," they actually glide rather than truly fly. The bat has a wing membrane, consisting of nerves, tendons and blood vessels, on each side of its body. These wing membranes are supported and operated by the bat’s arms and four of its fingers, while its thumb remains available for gripping. The part of the wing membrane located in the lower part of the bat’s body can be manipulated into a pouch for holding onto the insects that the bat catches while flying.
More about bats:
- A brown bat can catch about 1,200 insects in one hour.
- In addition to flying, bats can swim, but they generally do so only if they are forced to because of stressful situations, such as when they accidentally drop food into a body of water and have to retrieve it.
- Bats can live for as long as 20 years. The oldest bat on record was a brown bat that is thought to have lived to be 30 years old.