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Bats Flight

Even the oldest fossil bats have wings, which show that they have always had the habit offlying. To do this, the previous extremity turned into wing. All 3 segments (arm, forearmand hand) were elongatedand linked by a flying membrane. The hind legs are also made ​​up of 3 segments (thigh, legand foot) alsocontained in the flying membrane,but without undergoing changes in size. Batscan move on horizontal or inclined surfaces, evenvertical they help themselves with the digit, which is equipped with a claw andtoes.

The flying membrane - the patagium is a fold of skin, withouthairs, but extendedover the sides of the body. It makes flight possible because it connects theforearm of the lower limbs and tail. The jointallows movement of their limbs as in birds.

During the restbats of the family Vespertilionidaegather their wingsnear the body, while the bats of the Rinolophidaefamily wrap the whole body with their wings.

Depending on the species, bats have differentflight: hesitant, like a butterfly speciesflying low, fast andgood flying targetspecies. Flight still is practiced by Nyctaridaebats (they feed with nectar or pollen) because they have to stand near the flowers.

The survey on flight was made ​​possible by technical progress, using film recordings which were then projectedin slow motion. Thus we have seenthat the species Myotisbats made ​​12 wing beats / second andthe Pipistrelle andNyctalus species, between 16 and 19 beats/ second. To achievea return, bats raise their wings of theside they will turn and with the opposite wings they beat faster. The duration ofturns is 1 / 4 to1 / 6 of a second. Upon landing, the Vespertilionidae land with their head up and then return while the Rhinolofidae return in air and hang upside down.

The flightspeeds are achieved by Tadarida beasilinesis(100 km / h),Miniopterus schraibersii (70 km / h), Nyctalus noctula (50km / h). Batflight is much like the birds of prey,because both canfly and attack in the dive. Flight is to be learnt. At their first lessons the young are hung by their mothers’ abdomen, inside the roosts. So they try the firstbeat of wings. Whenthey cannot keep in the air or the landing is wrong,babies are recovered by the females. Prior to taking flight babies turn their headsaround to guide.

Sensory Adaptation - sight, smell and hearing

The smell is best developed with the insectivore bats. Most bats are active at night and rest during the day.Therefore, the vision is developed, but it is not vital. They aresupplied with the ability to orient through echolocation. Only the Megachiroptera miss this system.

Hearing is very fine. The Chiroptera can perceive both sounds (frequencybetween 16 - 20,000 Hz) and ultrasound (below 16 Hz).In fact, they perceive air vibrations produced by the activity of smallercreatures.

Echolocation is the process of locating an obstacle or object using the echo. During the flight, the Chiroptera are guided by receiving ultrasoundeven issued by them.The Rinolophidae emit sounds through the nose, the nostrils being provided with foliacee formations (layers) that are designed to focus the ultrasound beam and the ears are very mobile. The Vespertilionidae emit sounds through the mouth. Therefore they keep their mouth opened during the flight.