These Baby Bats Look Like Living Halloween Decorations
Bats have an undeserved reputation for spreading disease, but the only thing scary about them is how cute they are. If you're not convinced, these adorable baby bats just might change your mind.
And no, you can't keep them as pets. We checked.
Can We Snuggle This Not-So Terrifying Trio?
What are they going to do, hmm? Attack us with pillows?
If you were a bat mom, you'd have tons of these little critters to cuddle. Interestingly, even though bats are small, they have pregnancies that last up to seven months. Insectivorous bat species have shorter pregnancies of about three months in duration, while vampire bats take six months or more to develop in utero.
Flee! I am the night! These spooky critters are actually every bit as vulnerable as they look. Since bat pregnancies last so long and result in a single pup each time, conservation efforts are challenging.
It takes time for bat populations to recover after their habitats are lost, so it's critical for humans to be aware of local bat populations and avoid disturbing them as much as possible.
No, Really. We're Shaking in Fear.
Maybe it's not fear. Maybe we're shaking because the effort not to scoop him up and hug him is killing us.
This Baby Bat Is Obviously a Trained Killer
His weapon of choice? Cuteness. As tiny as this little guy looks from a human perspective, to a mother bat, he's huge.
Baby bats, officially called pups, can weigh a third of their mother's body weight when they're born. Ouch.
And This One? Lethal
Dead. We're dead. We've changed our minds about becoming bat parents, though.
In addition to their comparatively high birth weight, baby bats can take up so much space in mom's belly that their movements can be seen through her skin.
It's not funny anymore. Now that we know bats rarely spread diseases and aren't very scary at all, we kind of want one, especially since they clean themselves like cats.
Yep, it's true. Some species, like the Colonial bat, groom each other, too. No wonder they look so fluffy and clean.
Like, How Could You Not Want to Take This Home?
How do you think the cat will react? As babyish as this bat pup looks, bat babies are impressively strong. They have strong legs and claws from birth.
When they're nursing, they have to hang onto their mothers. If they lose their grip and fall before they learn how to fly, the result isn't pretty. Fortunately, that rarely happens.
Their Wings Do Still Have an Eerie Appearance
Their webbed wings are an acquired taste, but the witchy aesthetic is a dream in October. Baby bats get increasingly cute as they grow.
They start out looking somewhat like baby birds: hairless, scrawny and pink. Over the next few months, they transform from weird, winged naked mole rats to fuzzy, flying mice.
We Thought the Pacifier Thing Was Just for Show
Baby bats nurse around the clock for the first four weeks of their lives.
When they fall into the care of rescuers at an early age, they're given pacifiers and swaddle blankets to mimic the warmth and security of being snuggled up next to mom. Sound familiar?
Baby Bats Yawn?? Our Feeble Hearts Can't Take It
Like other mammals, baby bats yawn.
Fun fact: Bats are the only mammal that flies. Unlike the flying squirrel, which merely glides, bats can fly up to 200 miles at a time.
They're Basically Sky Puppies
Those strong, webbed wings have a fascinating construction.
The anatomy of a bat wing is very similar to that of a human hand. It's almost identical, only the bones are longer, thinner and connected by a flexible membrane that allows them to fly.
Happy Sky Puppies That Like Drinking From Baby Bottles
We get it. Baby bats are really stinkin' cute. Once rescued, bats are released back into the wild; however, they're no slouches.
Some species of bat can hit speeds of 100 mph or more, particularly when diving into a swarm of tasty bugs.
Someone Really Messed Up Our Chipotle Order This Time
Forgetting our side of guac is disappointing, but this? This is awesome. Bat burritos are adorable, but did you know that, without bats, we'd have to say goodbye to some of our favorite burrito ingredients?
Bats are one of the main pollinators of avocados. More than 300 species of fruit are pollinated by bats, so figs, cacao beans, nuts and agave wouldn't exist without their help. Thanks, funky burrito babies! We owe you one.
Dobby, Is That You?
Give him a sock. If he sticks around, you have an official bat friend. You're like Snow White, only so much cooler.
This bat pup is just building up her strength until she's ready to be released back into her natural habitat. Some bats end up in rescues for more serious reasons, however. Bats don't have many predators, but they are susceptible to life-threatening diseases. White-nose syndrome is a fungus that disrupts an infected bat's hibernation, causing the animal to wake up in the middle of winter and starve to death. Scientists are working on a solution to the disease, and some treatment options seem to be working.
Pictured: The Kind of Hug We Really Need
Forget bear hugs. Bat hugs are where it's at.
But not too fast: Bats make terrible pets, in part because they're practically a lifetime commitment. The oldest bat on record is 41 years old. Most, however, live around 20 years in the wild, although some species routinely live into their 30s.
Spooky Snuggles. We Love it.
When baby bats are born, they're not just welcomed by mama bat.
Luckily, bats are raised in a group called a colony. Most of the time, they stay with their colonies for life, living in dead trees, crevices in cliff sides and caves.
Last but Not Least, a Sky Puppy Celebrating the Season
In addition to pollinating fruits, bats help pollinate other plants that are key ingredients to about 80 different medications. Their echolocation skills have also helped researchers to develop better navigational aids for the blind. They might look spooky, but their impact is sweet.
For more spooky critter facts and Halloween fun, keep reading on Always Pets: