Are Bats Really Blind?

Bats are not blind. Like many animals, they are born blind, but gain eyesight from the time they are seven to nine days old.

The saying, “blind as a bat,” probably arose because of the way bats fly around, darting here and there at night. Actually, the bat is hunting insects, which people cannot see in the dark when the bat is flying about.

Bats are night creatures. Most come out only at night to hunt. Although they can see reasonably well, they are not equipped with the special eyesight possessed by other night-hunting animals such as owls and cats. Instead, bats fly and guide themselves in the dark by means of a sonar system.

This is how the bat’s sonar system works. As the bat flies, it emits a high, squeaking sound, unable to be heard by human ears. As the sound travels outward, it hits objects and bounces back. These sound waves tell the bat where objects are so they can be avoided. This method of locating objects is called echolocation. Bats fly safely at night by using their ears, not their eyes.

During World War II, a special army unit began training bats to carry bombs into cracks and crevices of enemy buildings. The war ended before the project was ever put into operation!

Comments

  1. Daniel says

    Thanks for the post, many people do not know that bats can see well. I somtimes feel that is one way they find their way into new homes to find their new roosts. The description on you echo location is great and very well written.

  2. jasmine says

    i knew that bats werent blind but my mom didnt believe me till read this to her ..ha i tfunny if u think about it….

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