You probably know bats as the only flying mammal. But have you ever wondered just how big these fascinating creatures could get?
Bats divide into two categories: megabats and microbats. Megabats, or fruit bats, are the larger of the two groups. The giant golden-crowned flying fox is the world’s largest bat, with a wingspan of 6 feet!
While there are two existing categories, there are bats that often roost or lurk around your home. It turns out these bats are microbats! So as we dive into the topic, how gigantic can bats get? And are there teeny tiny ones?
How big can a bat get?
Typically, the most significant difference between the two bat categories is their size. Megabats are, on average, three times the size of microbats. However, microbats make up over 70% of all bat species!
If you only measure their bodies, microbats are usually only about 2 to 5 inches long. But when you factor in their wingspan, they can range from 8 to 10 inches! If we talk about megabats, they can be enormous, up to 3.3 feet long, with a wingspan of up to 5.6 feet.
How long can an average bat’s wing get?
Now that we know the range of sizes for both microbats and megabats- Let’s focus on their wings! After all, this is what lets them fly!
A microbat’s wingspan can reach up to 10 inches, while a megabat’s wingspan can get up to 5.6 feet! To put this into perspective, the average human has a wingspan of about 6.5 feet. So if you ever see a bat flying, know its wings are pretty impressive!
The Average Height and Weight of a Bat
Like their wingspan, the height and weight of a bat depending on the species. But the most common bats you see all have average measurements.
The average height of a microbat is about 2 to 5 inches, while the average height of a megabat is around 10 inches. As for their weight, the average microbat weighs between 0.07 and 1.75 ounces, while the average megabat weighs between 12 and 24 ounces.
To sum up, bats come in all shapes and sizes! The next time you see one flying around, take a moment to appreciate just how amazing these creatures are.
How much weight can a bat get?
The average bat can weigh anywhere from 0.07 to 1.75 ounces, with the largest bats weighing up to 24 ounces. That’s about as much as a stack of nickels! These creatures are fascinatingly light for their size.
Aside from genetic factors inherited from their mother species, the diet can also influence their weight. You see, bats that feast on insects don’t need to store as much body fat as those that consume fruit. That’s because fruits pack natural sugars, which can be quickly converted into energy, while insects are a leaner protein source.
The Largest Species of a Bat
It’s safe to say bats can have their planet. There are over 1400 species of bats! You may think that’s impossible to happen, but believe me, they do exist!
Bats exist in all parts of the world. But, they fail their presence in the coldest and the hottest extremes on earth- the most polar regions and the deserts. This is reasonable! It’s normal for most animals not to exist in those regions as they are inhabitable. There is no definite food source, extreme weather, and the environment is not ideal.
Not unless these animals are specially built for the regions. These animals include penguins, seals, and polar bears from the polar regions. Then, camels for the desert areas.
Among the species of bats, few have been recognized for their size. These names include the greater horseshoe bat, hammer-headed fruit bat, spear-nosed bat, big brown bat, large flying fox, spectral bat, great flying fox, golden-crowned flying fox, and most flying fox species.
Fact: The smallest bast is the bumblebee bat or Kitti’s hog-nosed bat! They have little bodies of 1 to 1.3 inches and a wingspan of 6 inches.
How big does a Golden Crown Flying Fox get?
The golden-crowned flying fox is the largest bat in the world. Its size is truly unimaginable for a bat. They are also called golden-capped fruit bats because of the golden-colored cap on their heads.
These bats have bodies that measure 7.01 to 11.42 inches and weigh up to 2.6 pounds. It’s smaller than other species, but they make up for its wide wingspan. This creature can have a 5.6 feet wing length!
These bats are in Asia, specifically in the tropical forests of the Philippines. They are frugivores- animals that primarily eat fruit. And because of this diet, they play a vital role in seed dispersal and pollination.
The golden-crowned flying fox is an endangered species. Their population has been declining for years due to habitat loss and hunting.
How big is the Great Flying Fox?
After the largest comes the second predecessor- the great flying foxes! These massive species exist in the Bismarck Archipelago, which made them obtain their other name, the Bismarck Flying Fox.
Although only second in the world, the great flying fox is the largest species in Melanesia.
Their sizes may differ if they are male or female. The females of this family are 9 to 11 inches, and the males are 10 to 13. Aside from these exciting sizes and weights, these species are also the heaviest, incapacitated by being more than 3.5 pounds.
The attractive coloration of their fur ranges from golden brown to russet. But, their rump may appear light-colored compared to the other parts.
One of the Largest Bat: Greater Spear-nosed Bat
The spear-nosed bat ranks as the 9th largest bat in the world, next to the spectral bat. Spear-nosed bats are specifically unique because of the spear-like extension of their nose. These animals have long, narrow muzzles, which also gave them their other name- the long-faced bat. These muzzles are equipped with small, sharp teeth that they use to eat their prey- small insects.
Their bodies can be as long as 5.3 inches, while their wingspan can be greater than 3 feet. These bats do not have a tail and are the largest in the Americas.
Besides being the long-faced bat, this species is also called the false vampire bat. This is because they are initially thought to feed on blood. But, as studies show, they are not vampires. They only eat insects!
The greatest populations of vampire bats are in Mexico and South America. Deforestation is one of the major problems that these animals face. Humans continuously destroy their habitats, making them a near-threatened species.
Greater Mastiff Bat Is the biggest bat in North America
This bat is also known as the bonneted bat, named after the hood-like feature on its head, which looks like a cap. These bats are the largest in North America and are considered one of the rarest species in the world.
The bonneted bat has long, narrow wings of 1 to 2 feet and a body length of at least 5.5 to 7.5 inches. They have brown-colored fur and thirty-two small teeth. These bats are insectivorous. Their teeth become useful for eating their ultimate meal- the moths. But despite this preference, they do still eat any nigh-flying insects.
Fact: While most bats hibernate and migrate between seasons, these species don’t!
It’s A Bat Thing: Bat Facts You’ve Never Heard Of!
Bats are not just about sizes! These mammals possess an interesting sense too. Bats are known to have echolocation (SONAR), which is a process of using sound waves to determine the location and shape of an object.
Bats use this unique capability to “see” in the dark and to find their prey. When they fly, they make high-pitched sounds that humans cannot hear. These sounds bounce off objects and echo back to the bat’s ears. The bat’s brain interprets the information to help it build a mental image of its surroundings.
Enormous colonies and roosts of bats hide inside caves. Some of these caves have more than 20 million bats! The largest bat colony is in Bracken Cave, Texas, United States. This summer roost is home to 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats.
Bats prefer dark places- away from the sun. During the day, they hide in caves, buildings, and trees. When night falls, they come out in flight to look for food. Bats migrate too. They may migrate to islands, different countries, or different continents, depending on the season.
Yes, bats fly. But they’re not birds! They’re still mammals due to the fact that they give birth to live babies.
Have A Bat Problem In Your Property?
Bat infestation poses not just infrastructure damage but also health risks! These animals may seem harmless, but their droppings may cause serious respiratory illnesses.
If you don’t know how to handle these situations properly, it’s best to have AAAC Wildlife Removal solve it for you! We have the experience and expertise to help you with your bat problems most humanely and efficiently as possible!
From the smallest to medium to the largest- bats come in all shapes and sizes!
The largest bat species in the world is the Philippine golden-crowned flying fox, with a wingspan of up to 5.6 feet. The smallest bat is Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, which has a wingspan of only 6 inches and a body of 1 to 1.3 inches.
Bats play an important role in the ecosystem by preying on insects. They also greatly contribute to pollination and seed dispersal. However, their populations are declining due to habitat loss and hunting.
Although some people fear bats, these animals are harmless and beneficial to humans! As much as they can be destructive to have around, it’s cruel and may be illegal to hurt them. Have AAAC Wildlife Removal deal with proper removal instead. To learn more about bat size and their life expectancy, click here: bat size.
Contact us if you have concerns about bats or any other wildlife issues on your property. Our team is experienced in wildlife management and can provide effective solutions to address the situation.
How many young bats can bats have?
The average litter size for most bat species is 1 to 2 pups, but some species can have up to 4 offspring.
What do bats eat?
Bats are primarily insectivorous. They love eating mosquitoes, flies, moths, and beetles. But others eat fruits, plants, seeds, and nectar.