Can Bats Walk On The Ground?
There are many people who will never have seen a bat crawling or walking on the ground, and while many people will know about the amazing flight techniques of bats, how well they can walk and climb is a little less well known. Because bats spend the vast majority of their active time in the air, most people will assume that bats aren’t really able to move around very well on the ground at all, but this isn’t always the case with bats. As you would expect in an animal that has hundreds of different individual species, there can be quite a variation in how successful bats can be at moving around on the ground.
How Will A Bat Move On The Ground?
For the vast majority of their lives, when a bat has contact with a firm surface it will usually be hanging upside down, and in the majority of cases people will not regularly see how the bats actually move on the ground. There are two species of bat that can actually walk on the ground, and these are the vampire bat and the burrowing bat, and this evolution has developed because the nature of their surroundings mean they spend a little more time on the ground than other bats. In the majority of species however, bats are generally animals that will crawl if they are on the ground, where they will use the claws on their wings to drag the rest of their bodies along.
The Hind Limbs Of A Bat
The biggest handicap that most bat species will have when it comes to walking or crawling is down to their hind legs, which are usually not cut out for this kind of activity. The main purpose of these hind legs is simply to grip on to the solid surface while they are sleeping, and for this reason the muscles and bones in these legs are relatively thin and weak. The strength in these smaller hind limbs can vary, but this is the main reason that most bats will be dragging their bodies along when they crawl, rather than propel themselves forward using those hind limbs.
Can Bats Climb?
Because of the nature of the diet of different bat species, those that do not exclusively eat insects will tend to be better at landing and taking off from the ground, and also better at moving around on the ground. Those that do have fruit or other foods as a part of their diet will also find some of their food in the trees, and this means that they will also have a greater ability to climb, so that they can gain access to the food sources that they can find in the trees. Although they will not be as natural as those that regularly find food in the trees, other bats may also climb, and will find it easier to get back into flight when compared to when they are on the ground.
What To Do If You Find A Bat On The Ground
Most bats are actually very rarely found on the ground, so if you do spot a bat on the floor, there is a strong possibility that it will either have been injured or is sick, so it is important to try and be cautious in providing assistance. Make sure you are wearing gloves, and gently try to place the bat into a small cardboard box so that it can be transported. You should then try to get the bat to an animal rehabilitation specialist, who can assess the animal to see if it can be treated and rehabilitated.
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