The vast majority of infectious human diseases come from animals, yet we know surprisingly little about which animals pose the greatest risk. A new study helps resolve this shortcoming, ranking the mammals that are most likely to spread infectious diseases to humans.
Feeling drained? According to a new study, a vampire bat species that typically feeds on native birds has turned to sucking the blood of humans at night, likely due to human encroachment.
All hail the Brazilian free-tailed bat, which has just claimed a new flight speed record for all mammal-kind.
Researchers working in Africa are the first to observe monkeys preying on bats. The unusual behavior, which may have something to do with loss of habitat, could explain how dangerous diseases such as Ebola spread among species—and eventually to humans.
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign think mimicking nature is the best way to help robots take flight. So with the help of a 3D printer they’ve created a flying robotic bat complete with a layer of fake silicone skin for the wing’s membranes. It somehow manages to make real bats look almost…
A devastating fungal disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America has now reached Washington State, prompting serious concern among wildlife officials.
Bats take the blame for spreading all kinds of diseases, from ebola to Middle Eastern Respiratory virus. So why don’t we find huge caches of dead bats? New research sheds light on how bats can carry diseases without dying from them.
Frightening and scary and the stuff of nightmares is what it looks like when millions of bats flee their bat caves at the same damn time. This footage is from the Bracken Cave in San Antonio, Texas and it’s totally startling because it starts off so very peaceful and ends in frantic chaos. There are bats everywhere!
Bats are fascinating creatures—both from the point of scientific research and their place in the canon of the horror genre as spooky creatures of the night. So whether you’re a science person or a horror person, this shot of millions of bats streaming into the sky is either great, or great and fearsome.
Bats are suspected, although not proved, to have been the origin of multiple human diseases, including Ebola and rabies. New maps show the hot spots where outbreaks are most likely to occur, and which diseases are most likely to be transmitted from bats to humans. One of those is the region of the devastating 2014…
Bats find their way around at night by emitting noise and listening to the way it bounces back to them. But since bats often congregate in large groups, how do they keep from losing their own signal in the din? A new study found that they do this much in the same way children do: by trying to screech the loudest.
Bats are small, generally harmless to humans, and eat a lot of insects that would otherwise infect our bodies or ruin our fruit. That doesn’t stop this air-to-leaf pounce from being kind of scary, though.
Sometimes all it takes is a bat taking a crap in a bag to yield an interesting discovery. Here’s why we underestimated the contribution of the mouse-eared bat to the world, and how science corrected our misconception.
There are plenty of diseases that we contract from animals, but scientists were convinced that hepatitis A wasn’t one of them. A look at other diseases shows us that we’re wrong—and that bats played a part in passing on the disease to humans.
Vampire bats are the only vertebrates that feed on the blood of other mammals. But the ability to do so may be buried across the tree of life, according to a new study which pinpoints the underlying genetic origins of traits that make a good vampire.
Most nectar-eating bats hover in front of flowers and lap like crazy to shovel high-calorie goodness down their throats. But when some species of South American leaf-nosed bats cozy up to a flower, they just stick their tongues in and leave them there. They’re eating, but their tongues don’t seem to be moving at all.…
Watching a fringe-lipped bat swooping down to eat a tungara frog will give you a new appreciation for bats as predators. It will also give you a new appreciation for how much male frogs want to mate.
If you’ve had a cup of coffee recently, the plants it grew on may once have been home to bats and other threatened wildlife. It turns out that when coffee plantations encroach on natural forest habitat, bats are happy to live in the coffee.