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California leaf-nosed bat, Macrotus californicus


Any small flying mammal of the order Chiroptera. Bats are found throughout the temperate and tropical regions of the world. Their acoustical system allows them to accurately locate items by emitting a sound and evaluating its echo (echolocation). Bats primarily feed on insects but may also eat fruits and pollen. Bats often live in historic sites and public buildings, such as churches, where they can be a nuisance due to their noise, droppings (guano), and odor.

Synonyms and Related Terms

bats; Chiroptera; flagermus (Dan.); Fledertiere (Deut.); murciélagos(Esp.); chiroptère (Fr.); pipistrello (It.); vleermuizen (Ned.; nietoperze (Pol.); morcego (Port.)

Little brown bat, Myotis lucifugus

Additional Information

English Heritage, 'Bats in Churches",

Additional Images

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: "bat." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service 31 Jan. 2005 .