1202 240Our Moms are really something special and Mothers Day is a great opportunity to tell them so. Even our batty high flying moms go above and beyond for their kids.

05.08.16
A mother Gambian epauletted fruit bat and her baby roost in a tree
A female Gambian epauletted fruit bat and her baby roost in a tree
Credit: MerlinTuttle.org

Flowers, chocolate, or even just finally getting those chores we promised done, there are lots of ways to show Mom you care. Mom are really something special and Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to tell them so. Human moms aren’t the only ones worth celebrating, as even bat go above and beyond for their kids.

A Quick Catch for Mom

When baby bats, called pups, are born they come into the world, bat moms need to think fast. That’s because bat moms give birth upside down! While the pups use their big feet to scramble onto mom’s belly, mom helps by cradling the pup in her wings and tail.

Big Bouncing Babies

The pups are born weighing up to one third of their mothers weight. Imagine giving birth to a baby that big. For a human mom that would be like having a baby that weighed 40 pounds! Lucky for them most bats only have one pup at a time.
But thats only the beginning. Just like us bats are mammals so mother bats have to be ready to feed their pups plenty of milk. Going out to find food for themselves, mother bats come back to their roosts to take care of and nurse their babies.

A female hoary bat is perched with her twin young.

A female hoary bat roosting with her twin pups.
Credit: MerlinTuttle.org

Congratulations its Twins!

Even though most bats only have one pup at a time, some bats like to have big families. Species like the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) will usually give birth to two pups at a time. With two pups to take care of this makes the hoary bat a special mom as she has to find twice as much food to keep her pups well fed.

Super strong moms!

Mother bats often fly with their pups. The young cling to their mother’s underarm nipple with their mouths and hang onto her waist with their toes. Carrying a pup often more than a third of your weight via your nipples is no small feat – that is a super strong mom!

Mexican free-tailed bats roost in the nursery colony at Bracken Cave

A mother and newborn Mexican free-tailed pups roost in the
nursery colony at Bracken Cave, near San Antonio, TX.
Credit: MerlinTuttle.org

It Takes a Village

In the heart of the United States the largest gathering of bats in the world is getting together. The roost in Bracken Cave isnt just any bat cave. Its a maternity ward! Migrating hundreds of miles the Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) make their way from Mexico to Texas to roost. Over 15 million mother bats come together to raise their pups in the safety of Bracken cave, coming out to hunt for food at night.

She cleans and cares for her babies, feeds them and teaches them to fly. Mother bats are amazing. Just like ours.

Help protect these amazing mothers. Celebrate Mother’s Day by adopting a bat for you own mother and give the gift of bat conservation!