Bat Faces Are Vast and Varied

Bats may be nocturnal creatures, but these bat faces don't deserve to be hidden by shadows.

Oct 20, 2015 5:00 AMMar 27, 2024 7:22 PM

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Everyone has an opinion regarding bats, which makes them rather polarizing. When you see a bat face, you could be intrigued by the creature, or purely terrified of it.

Bat Conservation

Dr. Merlin Tuttle, an ecologist and founder of Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation, is someone who is intrigued by bats. He has spent his life traveling the globe to learn more about these winged critters and their role in nature.

Through photography, he’s observed thousands of bat species up close (he’s even had a few fly up his shirt and pant leg), and has learned there’s lots to appreciate about these creatures.


Read More: Protecting the Coolest Types of Bats in North America


Our Favorite Bat Faces

In Tuttle's book, The Secret Lives of Bats, he tells his personal story of dedicating his life to changing the preconceived notions about bats. Often, it’s said we need to come face-to-face with our fears to overcome them. And photos can sometimes do just that.

While these photos do not come from Tuttle, hopefully you'll find them intriguing just as we do.

1. Vampire Bat

(credit: Belizar/Shutterstock) Common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) in a zoo

Probably the most well-known bat of all time is the infamous vampire bat. Desmodus rotundus lives in Central and South America and is famed for drinking the blood of other animals for survival. Not surprisingly, the vampire bat tops our list despite its deadly fangs.


Read More: What Is Killing America's Bats?


2. Eastern Tube-Nosed Bat

(credit: Connie Pinson/Shutterstock) Tube nosed bat in care at The Bat Hospital, Atherton, Far North Queensland

That brings us to our second choice, Nyctimene robinsoni. More commonly referred to as the Eastern Tube nosed bat. This species resides in forests along the Queensland coastal region of Australia and is known for having prolonged nostrils and can be distinguished by its brilliant yellow polka dots.


Read More: Scientists Identify Long-Term Memory in Wild Bats


3. Grey Long-Eared Bat

credit: Rudmer Zwerver/Shutterstock) Grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus) is a fairly large European bat. It has distinctive ears, long and with a distinctive fold. It hunts above woodland, often by day, and mostly for moths.

Last, but certainly not least, is Plecotus austriacus. Better known as the grey long-eared bat. This genus lives in southern Europe. What makes this bat so striking is that its ears are nearly as long as its body.


Read More: The Bumblebee Bat: The Smallest Mammal in the World


This article was originally published on October 20, 2015, and has been updated with new information.


Article Sources:

Our writers at Discovermagazine.com use peer-reviewed studies and high-quality sources for our articles, and our editors review them for accuracy and trustworthiness. Review the sources used below for this article:

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation. Inspiring bat conservation worldwide

Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation. Merlin in Print

Denver Zoo. Vampire Bat

Allaboutbats.org. Eastern Tube nosed bat

Wildlifetrusts.org. Grey long-eared bat

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