Bats

A researcher holds a banded vampire bat.

Vampire Bats Call Out to Friends to Share Blood Meals

After they prep bite sites to lap the blood out of live cows, females invite their roostmates to join them

A thermal image shows a parrot releasing heat through its beak and talons. Researchers have found that since 1871 some parrots have increased their beak area up to 10 percent.

Animals Are Changing Shape to Cope With Rising Temperatures

Birds, bats, rabbits, mice and other creatures are growing bigger body parts to cool themselves off

Mother and pup of the bat species Saccopteryx bilineata. Similar to human infants, pups begin babbling at a young age as they develop language skills.

Baby Bats Babble—Just Like Human Infants

Both species make similar sounds as they develop language skills at an early age

Bats, whales, naked mole rats, elephants, albatrosses, certain dog breeds and a few other animals live unexpectedly long lives. Can scientists discover their secrets?

Why Scientists Are Studying the Genetic Tricks of the Longest-Lived Animals

Researchers are investigating how some species live unexpectedly long lives in order to pinpoint factors affecting human longevity.

Foster mother, BD, feeds her adopted vampire bat pup in a captive bat colony at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama.

Smithsonian Voices

Baby Vampire Bat Adopted by Mom's Best Friend

The strong relationship formed between two female adult vampire bats may have motivated one of the bats to adopt the other’s baby

Myotis nimbaenis was named for the Nimba Mountains where it was found.

New Research

Newly Discovered Bat Species Has Halloween Colors

The six-ounce bat lives in abandoned mine shafts in Guinea's Nimba Mountains

A male wrinkle-faced bat (Centurio senex) seen dangling from his perch. Beneath his chin is a furry skin fold that he pulls up to cover the lower half of the face like a mask during courtship.

New Research

These Bats Mask Up to Woo Mates

Male wrinkle-faced bats use a furry neck flap to cover their faces while serenading the opposite sex in never-before-seen behavior

From leaf-engineering to complex social circles, there’s more to bats than flying and echolocation.

Smithsonian Voices

Five Reasons to Love Bats

Make Halloween the reason to learn to love and conserve these misunderstood mammals

Researchers from the Smithsonian's Global Health Program found six new coronaviruses in bats in Myanmar.

Smithsonian Scientists Discover Six New Coronaviruses in Bats in Myanmar

The new viruses are not harmful to humans or closely related to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19

Pallid bats use relatively low-pitched sounds for echolocation, making them better at hunting in open spaces like grasslands.

New Research

California Bats Thrive in Forests Recovering From Wildfires

Wildfires leave behind a patchwork of forest densities that can give bats more room to fly and hunt

A Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis), one of the species that contributed to the guano researchers used to study the climates of the past.

Ancient Bat Guano Reveals Thousands of Years of Human Impact on the Environment

Like sediment cores, ice samples and tree rings, bat excrement can be used to study the climate of the past

A sign reading "No Entrance!" is seen at the burned-out monkey house of the zoo in Krefeld, western Germany, on January 1, 2020.

More Than 30 Animals, Among Them 'Highly Endangered' Species, Killed in Fire at German Zoo

Authorities say the blaze was likely started by floating lanterns illegally released into the sky on New Year's Eve

The tooth-filled mouth of a lamprey. These bloodsucking fish have managed to survive for hundreds of millions of years.

Why the World Needs Bloodsucking Creatures

The ecological benefits of animals like leeches, ticks and vampire bats are the focus of a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum

Mexican free-tailed bats near Bracken Cave, Texas.

Halloween

The Best Places Around the World to See Bats (by the Millions)

Bat tourism might sound creepy, but it may be the best way to help bat conservation around the world

This bat gleans insects from leaves. A team of researchers discovered that by approaching a leaf at an oblique angle, it can use its echolocation system to detect stationary insects in the dark.

Bats Use Leaves as Mirrors to Locate and Catch Their Prey

The latest discovery in the arms race between bats and insects reveals that even silent, motionless dragonflies aren't safe

Life reconstruction of the bizarre membranous-winged Ambopteryx longibrachium.

Newly Discovered Bat-Like Dinosaur Reveals the Intricacies of Prehistoric Flight

Though <i>Ambopteryx longibrachium</i> was likely a glider, the fossil is helping scientists discover how dinosaurs first took to the skies

A new study has found that moths like the Antherina suraka, pictured here, may use their scales to avoid detection by bats.

Deaf Moths May Use Their ‘Fur’ To Avoid Hungry Bats

Fur-like scales on the insects’ thoraxes absorb the echoes of bat calls, according to new research

An African yellow house bat.

Two New Yellow-Bellied Bats May Have Been Found in Kenya

Genetic analysis of 100 bats revealed two previously unknown lineages

Scientists with Smithsonian’s Global Health Program examine a wrinkle-lipped bat, which can harbor a never-before-seen virus.

New Research

A Never-Before-Seen Virus Has Been Detected in Myanmar’s Bats

The discovery of two new viruses related to those that cause SARS and MERS marks PREDICT's first milestone in the region

A wildlife biologist checks a big brown bat for signs of white nose syndrome, which can cause tears or even dime-sized holes in their delicate wings.

Three Ways Bats Could Bounce Back From Devastating White Nose Syndrome

Scientists are testing light therapy, a fungus-killing fungus—and maybe, doing nothing

loading icon