Bats are among the most fascinating creatures on Earth! There are over 100,000 species of bat found all around the world. Even though there are thousands of species, each and every one can be put under one of two groups; Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera. Keep on reading to learn the difference between mega and microbats, in addition to, a couple of interesting facts and characteristics to each.
Microbats, or Microchiroptera, can also be known colloquially by many different names; such as Echolocating bats, little bats, insectivorous bats, and accurate bats. Echolocation, also referred to as bio sonar, is a sonar-like method used to map a grid out of a bats’ surroundings. Although bats aren’t blind, like most myths imply they require the use of these procedures for finding food and hunting their prey. It operates by emitting little beeps or calls out to the surrounding environment, and listening to the return of echoes bouncing off objects around them. A variety of animals in the animal kingdom utilize bio sonar; such as dolphins, whales, shrews, and a few cave-bird species.
Microbats are modest, some as tiny as two g! They have big ears, but very tiny eyes. They generally eat insects; however, larger species of Microchiroptera actually hunt small prey such as frogs, lizards, rodents, as well as fish or birds.
They can weigh up to 4 lbs and have a wingspan of around 5 or 6 ft! They have huge eyes, and a much wider wingspan. They are usually found in tropical climates, where the weather is moist and warm. Unlike microbats, the Megachiroptera don’t use bio sonar to find and search for food. Rather they use their keen eyesight and sense of smell to locate their favorites foods; such as pollen, nectar, plants, and ripened fruit. That’s correct; megabats don’t eat insects or small prey like their cousins, the microbats. In actuality, megabats are often times known as”fruit bats” or”old world fruit bats”.
Their eating habits actually lead to the supply of flower pollens and fruit seeds. This connection is a form of mutualism known as chiropterophily, and clarifies how plants and bats help each other.