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Five bat species you might want to know

They may not be the prettiest of creatures, but bats are some of the most amazing mammals on Earth. There are approximately 1,100 bat species: some exotic, some mundane.  Since many bird lovers also own bat houses, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on a few cool bat species.

The Vampire Bat

No bat species gets more attention than the Vampire Bat.  Although many people think that all bats feast on blood (they don’t), these guys do.  There are three species of vampire bats, the common vampire bat, the hairy-legged vampire bat and the white-winged vampire bat.  They live across Central and South America in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and other countries and they’re not opposed to feeding on human blood, so watch out!

The Spear-Nosed Bat

The spear-nosed bat has, you guessed it, a freakishly-shaped spear-nose.  The spear-nosed bat is one of the largest members of the bat species and resides in Central and South America.  It does eat vertebrates, but the primary components of its diet are fruit and nectar.

The Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox

The golden-crowed flying fox is famous for being the largest bat species in the world, with a wing span that can stretch up to five feet.  Currently facing extinction, the golden-crowned flying fox lives only in the rainforests of the Philippines and is rarely sighted in inhabited areas.

The Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat

These bats are found primarily in New Guinea and Australia.  Their tube nose functions almost like a snorkel, allowing the bats to breathe through their nose while they have their faces buried in fruit.  The tube-nose fruit bat is known to travel up to 50 kilometers in one night to search for food.

The Common Brown Bat

The brown bat is the most commonly found bat in North America.  These tiny creatures have wing spans between 22 and 27 centimeters.  They eat insects and use echolocation, a form of navigation that utilizes high pitch echoes, to locate their prey.