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Sure, there are animals like flying squirrels who glide for a little while. Yet bats are the only mammals who can truly fly for a long period of time. That’s why there are going to be a lot of questions about these animals. Would their behavior be like the birds they so closely resemble? Or would they act in a way that’s unique to them?
When we ask whether baby bats are able to fly immediately, we’re wondering whether this is a skill that needs to be learned the way birds learn it, or if it’s something as natural as breathing air.
Baby birds aren’t able to fly the moment they hatch from their eggs. Instead, young birds are bound to their nests for the first few weeks of their lives. It takes them about two to three weeks before they’re finally able to fly a little.
In some species, this marks the end of their young lives. They can now leave the nest and be independent.
In other species, this marks the first step taken. Birds will still remain with their parents until they fully master this new skill and have had a chance to grow.
It turns out that bats aren’t too different from birds when it comes to flying. Like birds, these small mammals can’t fly after birth. Instead, they spend the first few weeks supported by their parents.
Bats do eventually learn to fly, but it’ll often take them much longer than birds. While birds take two to three weeks to start flying, most bats take anywhere between three to five weeks.
That’s because most baby birds come out of their shell fully developed, yet this isn’t
true for bats. Instead, baby bats are said to be underdeveloped at birth and need to be taken care of until their bodies grow strong enough to be able to do things on their own.
Even after they learn to fly, baby bats tend to stay with their parents for an extra four weeks. This is likely due to bats only having a single child at a time, so they’re going to be more protective of their young pup.
Before baby bats are able to fly, they rely exclusively on their mothers. The first few weeks of their lives are marked by the constant supervision of their mothers, going so far as to take the pup with them as they fly out for food.
If the child is too heavy for the mother to take with her, she’ll decide to leave her pup somewhere safe. When this happens, the mother will call out to its young reassuringly, and it will even bring it food several times throughout the night.
In summary, no. Baby bats spend the first few weeks of their lives growing and getting stronger until they can fly. Even after they learn to fly, they’ll spend a few more weeks with their parents.