About the Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
The bat is one of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet. From the day it is born to the day it dies, it is targeted by both animals and humans. While they do carry many diseases and should not live near or with humans, they are actually interesting little creatures. The Mexican free-tailed bat is one of the most interesting bats found in North America. Continue reading this article to find out more about this species of bat.
These bats are much easier to differentiate from the little brown bat, big brown bat, and the evening bat, as they look different. The Mexican free-tailed bat can come with red, brown, or gray fur. They possess black, big ears that point forward, wrinkly lips, and a pointy nose. Their tails are longer than most bats and they have narrow and long wings as well.
Mexican free-tailed bats live primarily in caves but often live in old buildings, inside of attics, and even under bridges. They like to have their roost near water for two reasons. The first reason is that they can drink more easily, and the second is that water often attracts more insects, giving them more to hunt. These critters are found in the Western US, throughout Mexico and Central America, and even the northern part of South America.
Mexican free-tailed bats eat tons of moths, beetles, flies, and basically whatever other insects that can be found. There have been large colonies that sometimes have reached millions of bats that eat hundreds of tons of insects per night.
Mexican free-tailed bats live very long compared to many other species of bats. They can live up to 18 years and often do, depending on many factors. Among these factors are geographical region, colony size, variances in caves, and the availability of insects.
These bats are roughly medium-sized when compared with other bats found in North America. With a wingspan averaging around 12-14 inches, they are much larger than the little brown bat or evening bat. They usually weigh around .4-.5 oz., making them very lightweight, as is usual for bats.
There are many creatures that love to incorporate Mexican free-tailed bats into their diet. Among these are cats, raccoons, snakes, owls, and other raptors. Anytime one of these animals can find baby bats that have fallen to cave floors, they will eat them. They also can sometimes gain access to roosts, wreaking havoc on the baby bats. Raptors generally eat bats when they are flying at night and hunting.
Mexican free-tailed bat mothers have their pups in the summer, and there is only one pup born to each mother. The mothers will put babies in the highest parts of the cave where the temperatures are warmer. After several weeks, the baby bat is free to go off on its own or stay in the large colony of other Mexican free-tailed bats.