The many faces of bats.

From wrinkled faces to enormous ears, bats have some of the most diverse and interesting faces in the animal kingdom. To celebrate the many faces of bats BCI has teamed up with Smithsonian Libraries to bring you a range of bat-face coloring templates taken from the pages of history.


Download and print your favorite coloring pages
Grab some art materials—markers, crayons or even watercolor paints
Create your own bat masterpieces!
Take a picture of your finished work and post it to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #BatArt

Project Details

Artists both young and young at heart can express their creative flair by adding unique colors to bat face outlines reproduced from some of the best illustrations in history. Each bat face is taken from Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature), a landmark work in the field of naturalist illustration published in 1904 that contains 100 lithographic prints produced from naturalist Ernst Haeckel’s original sketches and watercolors.

Born in 1834 in Potsdam, Germany (then Prussia), Haeckel served as a professor of comparative anatomy and director of the Zoological Institute at the University of Jena. Kunstformen der Natur, which is considered one of Haeckel’s most iconic publications, helped popularize science among a broad lay audience of the time. Today, the work resides at the Smithsonian Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL).

With Haeckel’s engaging bat faces as your starting point, draw on your own creativity and naturalist spirit to bring a personal touch of color to each page. And remember: Bats not only have many different facial features; they also come in many different colors. So don’t hold back!

Clockwork Bat

Many of our bats are insect-munching machines! Imagine how much fun it would be if you could make a robot bat. What kind of robot bat would you make? Would it be super-fast flyer like a Mexican free-tailed bat or would it be able to run on the ground like a vampire bat? Color our clockwork bat and share batty robot ideas with us on Facebook

Download the Clockwork Bat PDF here!