Are Bats Reptiles?
There is a common misconception among many people that bats are reptiles. But, this is not true; bats are actually in the category of their own called “chiroptera”, which means “hand-wing,” in Greek. Despite this distinction, bats and reptiles do share certain physical and behavioural traits, so it’s understandable why people think they may be related.
Similarities to Reptiles
Bats are smaller than most mammals, which is why they are sometimes confused with reptiles. They also share some of the same physical characteristics, such as:
- Skin: Bats have a thin layer of skin that covers their wings, much like the thin scales of a reptile.
- Wings: Unlike birds, bats have wings made of skin which stretch between their four fingers.
- Ears: Bats ears are similar to those of most reptiles, with the ability to rotate in different directions.
- Teeth: Both bats and reptiles have different types of teeth they use to catch their prey and eat.
Bats also share some behavioural similarities with reptiles. For example, both bats and reptiles:
- Hibernate: During the winter months, both bats and reptiles go into a deep sleep or hibernation.
- Live in similar habitats: Both prefer dark and humid areas, like caves, crevices and under rocks.
- Produce offspring: They both tend to reproduce slowly, as a single female can only give birth to one baby at a time.
Despite the physical and behavioural similarities, bats are not actually reptiles. Bats are in the category of their own known as “chiroptera”, which means “hand-wing” in Greek. Although they may share some physical and behavioural characteristics with reptiles, bats have their own unique attributes and should be seen as their own distinct creature.