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Can Bats Fly? Even Drunk Bats Can Fly!



Bats CAN fly.

More Info: Bats can fly and in fact are unique in that they are the only mammals that can do so.

The Anatomy of the Bat’s Wings

Upon first glance, you may think that a bat’s wings are far more similar to a bird’s wings than a human arm.  In fact, upon closer inspection you will find that the bat’s wing is very much like the human arm, hand, and fingers.  Like humans, the bat has four fingers and a thumb.  The appendages protrude from the side of the bat’s body and are just about the same length as its entire body.  Where the human has tiny skin flaps at the base of each finger connecting them to the hand, the bat has a rubbery membrane called the patagium, that stretches from the top of the finger all the way to the bottom.  This membrane further acts as a wing in that it stretches to the sides of the bat’s body and finally connects to the legs.  When stretched to its fullest this membrane becomes a powerful tool for flight.

How Does a Bat Fly?

A bat’s bones are extremely light factoring into the equation of what is necessary to lift a body into flight.  The bat is able to raise its heart rate from 300 beats per minute to 1,000 beats per minute to achieve the energy necessary for flight.

Even Drunk Bats Can Fly?

In an interesting study, researchers from the University of Western Ontario set out to discover if bats that eat the fermented fruit that other animals won’t touch, such as tropical bats of Central and South America, have any difficulty in flight as a result.  They found that most bats had a high tolerant level to alcohol and had few problems navigating through an obstacle course while inebriated.  The study findings suggested that the ability for a bat to ‘hold its liquor’ could be an evolutionary edge.



“The secret life of bats | Natural History Museum.” Natural History Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. index.html

“”Drunk” Bats Fly Right–Discovery Surprises Scientists.” Daily Nature and Science News and Headlines | National Geographic News. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2011. <>.

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