Bats really aren’t aggressive at all. Bats have a much-feared reputation – but actually, they are very placid animals and live in friendly, cooperative colonies.
Are Bats Aggressive To Humans?
The only time bats are likely to actively try to bite a human is when they have been caught.
Bats are eaten for food around the world – so when being captured in a net or by hand – they will obviously try their best to evade capture. Bats have incredibly sharp tiny teeth – and they will often break the skin causing possible infection. And they can scratch too with their pointy claw-hook set on the front of their wings.
However, a bat flying around you while you stand outside will try their very best to avoid you. Although they aren’t generally fearful of humans – they usually watch us from a distance like we would with squirrels or pigeons. Even if their roosts are disturbed accidentally, they don’t all take flight in a panic or attack.
There are some bats who will seek out a sleeping warm body (sometimes a human) to drink their blood – but they aren’t aggressive about it. They just break the skin and sit there quietly licking at you.
Are Owls and Bats Equally Dangerous to Humans?
Owls and bats exhibit different behaviors when it comes to encountering humans. While bats pose little threat, owls have occasionally been known to attack humans. Although rare, instances of why owls attack humans can be attributed to territorial aggression, defense of nests or young, or mistaken identity. It’s important to remember that these occurrences are uncommon and should not generalize the overall danger posed by owls or bats to humans.
Why are People Scared Of Bats?
There are many reasons why people think of bats as scary – and some of them are very convincing! Others are not true at all – but are there from the past when we really didn’t understand their behaviors and lifestyle.
What is true though is that most bats can carry terrible diseases and carry parasites – so best leave them well alone! Bats in some countries are protected by law too – so another reason to avoid touching them!
Bats Fly At Night:
Animals that come out only at night are always seen as scary in many countries – because we (as daylight dwellers) can’t see them as well – and we make up stories about what they must look like. Often having unseen bats flying around your head in the pitch black can be quite frightening and entering a cave at dawn or dusk when hundreds of them are flying en masse can be pretty overwhelming. What if they get caught in your hair!
Bats Are Strange-Looking Animals:
Bats are black and mainly all wing. They also have very strange faces. Adaptations for echolocation (their own personal radar system) have had their faces evolve all sorts of facial flaps, wrinkles, and protrusions – and of course, they are always upside-down. With their hooked toe on their front wings and their clawed back feet sticking out – they really aren’t the cute, cuddly mammals we all expect.
Bats Are Blind: or Are They?
Well, no they aren’t. Bats have totally normal eyes that can see during the day. This rumor started because they use echolocation (sound) at night to map out their surroundings – so they must only do this if their eyes don’t work, right? But no – they use their eyes too close up.
Carnivorous bats can see things in front of them perfectly well. However, their eyes are adapted to better see in low light – when their food is active (flying insects and other bats) or sleeping (birds, reptiles, and other mammals). Vegetarian and giant fruit-eating bats use their eyes to see the fruits they are eating – although they do pick the ripest ones by smell first.
Bats Drink Blood:
We have all heard about Vampires turning into bats and drinking our blood – so historically we thought: are bats aggressive to feed on humans?
Well, not speaking for ACTUAL vampires of course – but 3 species of bats from Central & South America called ‘vampire bats’ do actively drink blood from live mammals – including humans. However, they only do this at night, when we are asleep. They creep towards their victim along the ground while they are sleeping and then nip at ankles or necks for a quick snack. So even then, they aren’t aggressive!
Bats Can Give You Rabies:
Very common across the globe is the worry that bats carry rabies – a terrible and fatal disease (if not treated immediately and effectively). This panic started because any mammal can carry the disease – but you can usually see an affected dog or raccoon coming towards you. But a tiny bat flying at night could easily crash into you (as a diseased animal is most likely disorientated) and is seen as high risk.
In actuality, only about 0.5% of bats carry rabies though, so it is very unusual to catch rabies from a bat. However – many bat bites go unnoticed (as they happen at night) – so treatment is often delayed and people get much sicker from it.