How bats care for their babies ?
Mother bats form a group and search for a place where all of them can care for their babies together. This place is called a Maternity Colony.
The left picture below shows how a maternity colony looks like. The one on the right shows a mother holding her baby from close.
photo 17.1 photo 17.4
Mammals give only a few babies at a time. Most of the bats give only one baby at a time .
Mother bats hold the pups in their tail pouches. These pups are only an inch long and suckle milk from their mothers. Mothers leave their babies hanging in the cave and go out to get food for them. When she returns, her baby is silently roosting among hundreds of other pups very similar to him. All of them will look equally alike to you but the mother can locate her baby in a minute. She remembers where she left him and recognizes his cry and smell! She returns several time during a night to feed her pup.
The pictures below show you how a bat mother holds her baby within her wings. The baby clings closely to her and suckles milk all the while hanging upside down with her.
photo 17.2 photo 17.3 photo 17.5
After three weeks they start learning to fly. By the time they are six weeks old, they are able to catch insects for themselves and do not need their mother’s milk. They go out and hunt at night like other adult bats.
We have learned a lot about bats. Do you think they can be useful to us?
They are not only useful, we cannot do without them.