Bats are very curious creatures. Many people think that they are creepy and scary, which is why they are a popular symbol for Halloween, but they get an undeservedly bad rap. Even the way they sleep causes shivers down the spine for many. It seems so unnatural, as does the way they dart through the air in the dark of night.
Although it may seem strange to us, sleeping upside down and zipping haphazardly through the air is perfectly natural for the bat. Though no one knows for sure exactly when or how bats learned to fly and began sleeping upside down, these adaptations make perfect sense for how today’s bats live. Believe it or not, there is a relationship between their nighttime sleeping habits and their flying abilities. Our bat removal experts in Whitby explain how sleeping upside down is advantageous for the small flying creatures.
Taking a Load Off
Hanging upside down is thought to have some benefits for people, but can you imagine sleeping that way? Bats are one of only three mammals that make a habit of sleeping upside down. Sloths and manatees are the other two. Bat physiology makes them well adapted to snoozing while suspended from a tree branch, rock surface or the rafters in your attic.
While humans have strong femurs that are designed to bear weight, bat femurs are not. Standing puts excess strain on their bodies. Hanging from their feet alleviates the burden of gravity on the leg bones. Their tendons are also more relaxed in this position; so much so that a bat that dies hanging upside down will often remain that way!
Being First in Flight
Bats hold the distinction of being the only mammal that can truly fly — rather than glide — but it does so in a different manner than birds. A bat’s hands have the same bones in it as human hands, and their wings are made up of flaps of skin that stretch between the digits. This gives bats a lot of maneuverability in their flying, but they lack the strength required to lift off from a surface to take flight.
Their propensity for hanging around upside down helps solve this little problem. Instead of lifting off, bats simply let go of whatever it is they are hanging from. When they drop, they quickly gather the momentum required to fly. This efficient behavioral adaptation allows them to go from a dead stop to full flight in no time, and they expend a lot less energy doing so.
Finding a Swift Escape
Since bats are not built for running or for taking off from an upright position, they could be quite vulnerable to predators if they didn’t spend most of their waking and sleeping hours in an upside-down position. This is particularly true since bats sleep during the daytime, which is when their predators are out seeking food.
Bats sleep under cover. They often squeeze in tight spaces or take shelter in caves or homes where they remain out of sight. However, if danger approaches, getting to safety is as easy as letting go and taking off. A bat can be on the move in an instant, escaping the talons of a bird of prey that has the bat in its sight.
Safeguarding Your Attic
Your attic provides bats with everything they need for roosting and sleeping. In Ontario, the little brown bat and the big brown bat are the two species that are most likely to invite themselves in. The best way to prevent this is to ensure any small openings are sealed, particularly along the roof line. All bat species are protected under provincial and national law, so if they do set up residence, you will need to enlist the help of professionals in humane bat removal in Whitby.
Getting Help With Bat Removal
Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control technicians are experts on all things bats. They have the knowledge and skills to ensure bat colonies are removed in a manner that keeps the animals and your family safe. For help with your bat concerns, give us a call.