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Bats are pretty odd creatures when you stop to think about it. They’re the only mammals who can fly. They use echolocation to sense the world around them. And their life spans are longer than most household pets! Yet these animals will often have their lives cut short, and that’s because of their predators.
Owls are one of the most common bat predators out there. These big birds love to hunt and eat bats, even if the flying mammals aren’t their main source of food. Owls are in a pretty unique situation, making them perfect for hunting bats. For starters, owls are nocturnal, much like bats themselves.
That means they’re both out hunting during the night, so the owl can catch these mammals while the bats occupy themselves with small insects. Another important thing to keep in mind is that owls can fly, so they’re able to chase bats anywhere and are even known to catch bats midair. They do this by flying at a much higher altitude and scan for any bats below them. Once they spot the winged mammal, these birds can swoop down and catch the bat midair.
Owls are also big birds, so the bats don’t get the chance to fight back. All-in-all, owls
are some of the best bat-hunters out there.
Hawks also hunt bats. These swift raptors may only be active during the day, but they can still catch any unsuspecting bats who stay out past dawn. Their incredible speed and large wings allow them to race through the sky, eliminating the bat’s chance to run away.
Like owls, these sharp-beaked birds will occasionally hunt bats, despite the flying mammals not being a staple of their diet. This holds true for other raptors as well, like falcons, peregrines, and plenty of others.
Bats are also hunted by snakes. This may seem odd at a first glance. Snakes can’t fly after all. Yet these cold-blooded reptiles are very clever, and simply wait for the bat to make a false move. They hide in bushes and other patches of vegetation near fruit-bearing plants, where their colorful skin might blend into the scenery. Then the snake pounces once the unsuspecting bat comes to taste the fruit, at which point the bat becomes the snake’s dinner.
Spiders are also known to hunt bats. Tarantulas, in particular, are known to employ the same methods as snakes. They wait near a bat’s food source, then they spring their deadly trap once the bat arrives. They can also build thick webs, trapping the bat in a silken net. With no chance of escape, the flying mammal becomes a meal for these large arachnids.
Raccoons are another predator. These animals are nocturnal like bats themselves. They use this to their advantage by getting close to a bat’s nest while most of them are out hunting. Sometimes they lay in wait and catch the bats when they enter or exit their lair. Other times, they might venture into the bat’s lair where they can prey on the bat’s young or any other sleeping bats.
In either case, these raccoons successfully catch their prey and head home with a full belly.
Don’t be fooled by your cat’s adorable face and silly antics. These animals are still very deadly and are known to hunt bats. Their sensitive ears allow them to hear a bat’s call from far away, and they use their incredible senses to track down a bat’s lair. Once they find the lair, your cat might sit down and wait for a bat to emerge from its nest. Then the cat just snatches the poor bat from the air and turns it into supper. Despite a bat’s incredible abilities, it often becomes the prey of much larger and cleverer animals. They’re hunted by swift raptors, like owls and hawks. They’re frequently ambushed by large spiders and snakes. They can even fall prey to the common raccoon or cat! All of which cut their lives short.