Do Bats Have Teeth?

There are more than 2,000 kinds of bats, and so naturally there are many differences among them. Most bats eat insects, but there are bats in the warm tropics that eat fruit or the pollen of flowers.

And there are still other bats that eat fish, or smaller bats, or blood. Britain’s biggest bat is the noctule, or great bat, but its extended wing span is only 33 to 36 centimeters and its length 13 centimeters.

This bat lives in wooded districts and feeds on large insects. The fruit-eating bats of the tropics alight on branches bearing fruit. They have broad, flat grinding teeth to crush the juices from the fruit. Pollen-eating bats have long tongues which enable them to reach into the flowers.

The vampire bats feed only on blood. It get the blood from horses, cattle, dogs, chickens, and people. With its two sharp upper incisors (the front teeth) it makes a shallow hole in the skin of its victim.

It then laps the blood that comes from the wound. Bats may have from 20 to 38 teeth. A curious thing is that there is no bat known to have 22 teeth. Some of the insects-eating bats have as many  as 38 teeth!

So you see that teeth are quite important to a bat. Did you know that bats have have been on earth for so long that they are one of the oldest established orders of animals? Fossil remains of bats have been found that are about 60,000,000 years old! The earliest known picture of a bat is in tomb in Egypt. It was made about 4,000 years ago.  

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