While birds rule the daytime skies, the bat, a flying mammal, is master of the air at night.
Its leathery wings are made of flexible skin flaps that stretch between the incredibly long fingers
of the bat's hands, making them very strong and efficient for flying. During the day, bats usually roost
in large groups in caves, attics, or hollow trees, hanging upside-down with their clawed hind feet.
Most bats hunt for food such as moths, but some have different ways of feeding. Vampire bats from
South and Central America feed on the blood of people, cows, and horses. Fruit bats, sometimes called
flying foxes, feed on fruit of tropical trees. Hunting bats catch mice on the ground or fish that
swim near the surface of a lake.
Bats find their food in complete darkness using a system called echolocation. The bat sends out
very high-pitched noises (ultrasonic sounds) that "echo" or bounce off its prey.
Using the echoes to locate its prey, the bat then chases, captures, and eats it.