Bats have long been the subject of folklore due to their unusual habits. In an effort to separate fact from fiction, the following are truths about bats:
- Bats are not blind. They can see better than humans at night, however echolocation is their most important sense when hunting.
- The truth about bats and rabies in Alaska. Although bats can be carriers of rabies, the frequency of this has been greatly exaggerated in Alaska.
- Bats do not suck blood or feed on humans. North American bats eat a wide variety of insects, while those in the tropics also eat fruit. The vampire bats of South and Central America do feed on blood by making a small incision through the skin of livestock or birds. They lap up small amounts of blood through the incision.
- Bats are not rodents. They are more closely related to primates than to rodents. They are in their own Order, called Chiroptera. This means “hand-wing” due to their unique flight abilities with wing bones that are similar to those in human fingers.