• Question: Why do bats hang upside down at night?

    Asked by leigha1234 to Angela, Karen, Shane on 20 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Shane Mc Guinness

      Shane Mc Guinness answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      Nice one again Leigha,
      this is probably a behaviour evolved in bats to avoid being eaten, or “predated”. They’re expert flyers, but are pretty useless on the ground. Also they can’t even hop around or walk like some birds can. So hanging upside-down as evolved as a defence mechanism for them.

      That’s as good as I can do without copying and pasting from wikipedia….!

    • Photo: Karen McCarthy

      Karen McCarthy answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      Although this answer offers no scientific relevance….bats do look so funny when you change the view from upside down!


    • Photo: Angela Stevenson

      Angela Stevenson answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      My face always ends up looking like a tomato when I hang upside down for too long… so how come bats can manage to hang all day (it’s called roosting), and why?? There’s a few reasons why they roost upside down. Bats, unlike birds, can’t launch themselves into the air from the ground since their wings don’t produce enough lift to take off from a dead stop, and their hind legs are so small and weak so they can’t run to build up the necessary speed to takeoff. Poor little guys! BUT hanging upside down puts them in an ideal position for takeoff! They use their front claws to climb to a high spot, and then fall into flight. By sleeping upside down in a high locations that allows them to be ready for take off whenever necessary so it’s also a great way to hide and be prepared for dangerous situation, like when there’s a predator attack. During the hours when bats sleep (they are nocturnal, so they hunt at night!) most predators are active so it’s a good thing for bats to be ready to flee at all times. Great question again 🙂