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Bats – the only group of mammals who have mastered the active flapping flight. These include bats. One in four mammals on Earth – a bat! This – the only mammal that can fly. Despite its name, they have no relation to the rodents do not. Much closer to primates bats, and they should rather be called flying monkeys. This is a very numerous group in which there are more than 900 species.
It is known about bats a little bit, even though they live practically everywhere except the polar regions and some oceanic islands. They inhabit the deserts and forests, mountains and plains, live in places where no man has gone before, and in the big city.
In Moscow, they live in the park, located on the outskirts of the city, and even in the building of the University on the Lenin Hills.
Bats, mysterious creatures who quietly cut through the night air, and with the first rays of dawn hide in deep caves, – the heroes of legends about vampires and other evil spirits. They, along with the toads were a necessary component of witch potions. But actually it is quite harmless animals displaced birds in the twilight.
What terrible name gave zoologists XVIII-XIX centuries. bats! Even Russia looks quite cute animals called bats, vechornytsi, the bat. What can we say about exotic species of mice, such as Steller’s dwarf, giant lzhevampir. Incidentally, the latter is the largest bat in the world. The scope of its wings up to 70-75 cm, and it weighs about 200 grams
Do bats rather weak sense of smell and black-and-white vision, but they are surprisingly good to hear! For orientation in the dark, they use that sound is reflected from obstacles in the form of an echo. As it is possible to determine not only the distance to the object. By capturing echoes from high-frequency sounds, we can “see” worse than the eyes. In flight, bats are constantly screaming (emit ultrasounds nose or mouth) and listen to the echo. By capturing the echo, you can “see” worse than the eyes. Small mammal traps echo its large auricles (bats Ushanov they are several times larger than the head). All this happens in a split second, but the mouse has time to adjust flight, so as not to collide with an obstacle. They fall silent only for a brief moment – swallowing prey.
Power of sound emitted by bats can be compared with the noise of an aircraft engine, if it be from a distance of 1 m. To the human ear it would be just unbearable test, if, of course, one could hear ultrasound. In flight, these animals constantly emit signals that are encountering a variety of obstacles, come back. By capturing these signals, bats are not only food, but also in time to turn, so as not to run into obstacles.
But not all bats have perfect hearing. This is due to their different food preferences. For example, false vampire nourish sedentary insects and small vertebrates, highly Sonor simply do not need. Weak signals also publish herbivorous animals and these vampires that feed on the blood of large animals.
Bat wings are formed by a thin skin, stretched between very long fingers and body. The bat is guided in the dark with the help of the emitted high-frequency sounds of it, not distinct person. When such a sound wave encounters an obstacle, it is reflected from it as an echo and captured huge, extremely sensitive ears of a bat. So it is a flying mammal can go around the obstacle or find prey.
Bat lives in an average of 5 years. However, in rare cases, it can reach the age of 30 years. Age of puberty comes to 2 years. Mating takes place from autumn to April. After 16 weeks of gestation the female gives birth to one cub. He remains on the mother’s back until then, until it can fly on their own.
Food of bats in the Northern Hemisphere are different insects. And among their southern relatives have hunters on rodents, birds, frogs, and even amateur fishermen nectar. Large bats eat fruit, pollen and nectar of flowers. They are extremely useful, because it involved in pollination and seed dispersal. Small eat insects. Some individuals – carnivores. But the most common bats – insectivores.
Bats are twilight-night lifestyle. In the afternoon, they sit quietly in their slots, huddled between the bricks – well, not firing, does not dry the bright sun. In the evening, when it was almost dark, stirring begins. The animals have to get out, stretch their legs, stretch. Crush, peeps. All crumple, do not dare to fly away from the shelter. And easily he slipped out from under the roof of the first mouse. Sweetly reached, a stone fell down and opened wings. Airflow is pulled skin membrane, tightened mighty pecs, with the power of the wing dropped.
Flying Mouse, clearly observe the famous route: along the clearings, to the left, over the road to the river. So you can fly with your eyes closed. A fog over the river, quietly flowing water, crickets sing. The flight speed of 20 km / h. He turned the mouse, lose height and slid along the surface, scooping water in her mouth. The first step is to get drunk. And now you can hunt. A couple of hours to wander on the river edge, catch insects and go back to the nest, put himself in order.
In some caves the bats droppings form a layer thickness of up to 1 m. Litter bats (called guano) serves as food for many cave dwellers, such as spring- tails, millipedes, crickets. While these insects feed on the droppings, they are hunting spiders.
If, during a night out you’ve seen one or two bats, one can safely say that in these places on every square kilometer of inhabited 50-100 animals.
In those areas of the globe, where the heat of summer is replaced by cold winter, some bats hibernate. They hide in caves in the winter, large tree hollows or in the attics of old buildings. Hung upside down and huddled close to each other (to reduce heat loss), they fall into torpor or hibernation. In this state they may be up to 7 months of the year (for example, bat). At the same time the body temperature of the animals is reduced to almost of 0 °, the blood pressure falls, heart beats rare – only a few beats per minute and his breathing is slow. It was only upon the occurrence of heat bats come alive and begin active life.
Other representatives of this group, in order to avoid starvation, fly to warmer climes, flew to a distance of 2,500 km (eg, common noctule fly to winter in Bulgaria). Flying bats in large flocks in the same time and regular routes, and spring back to their homes to continue the race.
In birds of prey hunt bats (falcons, hawks, owls), snakes, carnivorous mammals (cats, weasels, martens). In Africa, some species of bats are used by humans. Many species of bats are protected.
The largest bats – red and golokozhaya. Wingspan golokozhey bat can reach 1.5 m. She lives in Madagascar, India and Malaysia. All European bat species (about 30) of small dimensions. The scope of their wings 20 to 50 cm.
The true aces of flight are considered free-tailed bat. Their large ears are kind of fused flat patches, as if continuing a flattened skull. In such position ears not inhibit the flight and air incised horizontally, making the flight of the bat becomes more manoeuvrable.
Ushan belongs to the family of bats. Apparently, amazing and repulsive appearance Ushanov was the reason that the bat is called evil fantastic beings.
Common pipistrelle – this is one of small bats in the world. In size it is smaller than the finger of an adult. It occurs it in Europe, Asia, China, Japan, sub-Saharan Africa.
The biggest bat Calang. its body length of 40 cm and a wingspan -. 1.5 m Calang inhabits the islands of the Indian Ocean and on the south coast of Asia. It feeds on fruits, but on occasion, and can eat small vertebrates.
Nektarovidnye bats feed exclusively on nectar of various, mostly nocturnal flowers. However, they, like hummingbirds pollinate the flowers. Language Length nektarovidnyh bats reaches 1/4 of the length of their bodies.
Moth-angler – a representative of the group of fish-eating bats. They live in Central and South America, along the coast Ocean. Catch itinerant at the surface of a shallow fly fishes, snatching it out of the water his clawed paw. The representatives of this group of the most advanced hearing. The unusually developed ability of echolocation allows these little animals to catch the reflected sound is not from the fish itself, but from its swim bladder (the fact that the body of the fish is permeable to sound, the sound of it, passes through it and is recognized only by air bubble).
In our country, inhabited only by insectivorous bats. Insectivorous bats of great benefit, destroying harmful insects. Calculations have shown that in the European part of Russia, destroying the bats of forest pests accelerates its growth by 10%.
And in Central Asia, where the bats particularly large because of their useful activity sharply reduced the number of not only pests of gardens and plantations, and many insect vectors of human and animal diseases.
Flying Fox – the most prominent representative of the group of herbivorous bats. It is so named due to the fact that its snout like a fox. Especially good at flying fox developed sense of smell, by which it is the smell of ripe fruit. She inhabits in the forest tracts of Africa, Asia, Australia, where it’s always warm and plenty of fruit. Unfortunately, flying foxes are in danger of extinction due to deforestation.
Staple food Kozhanov – a moths and mosquitoes, which are the most about the various reservoirs. Therefore, bats prefer to live by rivers, lakes and ponds.
Vampire bat lives in South Africa, is not common, but its special diet made her famous. Vampires feed on fresh blood. Razor-sharp teeth, they make an incision in the skin of an animal, and then lick the blood that flows without stopping. The fact that in the saliva of bats is a substance that prevents blood clotting. Attack they are mostly livestock – horses, pigs, birds, but there are times when they try to attack and people.
Vampires bite itself is painless, but dangerous to others – these animals are carriers of serious diseases, including rabies. Biting animal vampire often it infects.
Lesser horseshoe bat (a body length of about 4 cm) in hours, days or even months during winter is hanging upside down, clinging to the ceiling of the cave. Fall, hitting his head on the ground, he was not afraid: standing leg for something to grab, as the tendon is locked in position. During the day he sleeps at night and flies on the hunt for the evening and night insects. Ushan length of 5 cm is able to flit virtually in place in 1-6 m from the ground, grabbing at the cave walls butterflies, caterpillars, spiders. In winter the caves and other species, for example, in late summer at the entrance you can find a butterfly – scoop zubchatokryluyu.
Svinonosnaya bat (Craseonycleris thonglongyai) – the smallest among modern bats: body length of about 3 cm, forearms – 22-26 cm, weight not more than 2 years
Egyptian svobodnohvost (Rhinopoma microphyllum) has slightly larger: body length of about 5-6 cm It lives in the Nile Valley and the countries of tropical Asia..
Sac-winged bat (Emballonuridae) got its name because of the animal’s tail end is located above the middle of interfemoral membrane and can be retracted into the cavity, like the case. Living sac-winged bat in the tropics in both hemispheres, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand.
Bat Bechstein is 4.5-5.5 cm in body length, tail – 3.5-4.4 cm, wingspan 25-28 cm, weight 7-14 g She has very big ears, far from sticking to the sides and slightly shifted forward, like a bag; the fur on the back of a light-brown to reddish-brown, whitish on the belly. Food – catching insects on the fly. It lives in deciduous and mixed forests, forest plantations and parks near water in Central and South-Eastern Europe.