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The bats, an order of placental mammals of worldwide distribution, characterized by a modification of the forelimbs that enables them to fly. They are capable of emitting ultrasonic sounds that enable them to echolocate, find flying insect prey, and avoid objects in the dark. Though mostly insectivorous, some species feed on nectar, fruit, fish, and blood; the blood-feeding and insectivorous species are important reservoir hosts of rabies.
[chiro- + G. pteron, wing]




the order of mammals that comprises the bats, the wings of which are formed from a membrane of skin, the patagium, stretched from the front to hind limbs and over the fingers (but not the thumb) of the forewing.


the order which comprises all of the 178 genera in 16 families of bats. Characterized by their ability to fly with the aid of an alar membrane which is attached to all four limbs and tail. They are fast fliers with a special sensory system to enable them to fly at their preferred time, dusk.
There are three groups, insectivorous e.g. Macrotus spp., fruit-eating e.g. Pteropus (called also flying foxes), and blood-drinking or vampire bats e.g. Desmodus, better known by their association with Nosferatu than as carriers of the rabies virus. (Much of the mythology of vampirism can be explained within the parameters of rabies epidemiology). Both fruit-eating and vampire bats are known to be involved in the spread of rabies and similar bat rabies viruses.