Clip Art from www.LeeHanson.com

Clip Art from www.LeeHanson.com

Just in time for Halloween:

Besides being an excellent way to avoid predators, roosting or hanging upside down is optimal for taking off into flight. Bats are not able to launch into flight from an upright position because their wings do not generate sufficient lift while at a dead stop. Additionally, their hindlegs are rather underdeveloped, so they are not able to run to generate lift for take-off. Instead, bats essentially fall into flight. 

Learn more in this video comparing flight mechanics in bats and birds:

Source:
Animal Plant

Comments

  1. #1 Ian
    November 1, 2013

    Bats sleep upside down because they cant get take off any other way.

    Or bats have lost the ability to take off any other way because they sleep upside down.

    As sleeping upside is a good tactic for avoiding predators, I’d say it was the latter.

  2. #2 Nele
    November 2, 2013

    “Bats are not able to launch into flight from an upright position because their wings do not generate sufficient lift while at a dead stop. Additionally, their hindlegs are rather underdeveloped, so they are not able to run to generate lift for take-off. Instead, bats essentially fall into flight. ”

    Lo a video of a bat launching into flight from an upright position using the lift of its wing and the push of its hindlegs. :)

    http://youtu.be/PSihqW9r6bs

  3. #3 makeinu
    November 2, 2013

    Bats are not able to launch into flight from an upright position because their wings do not generate sufficient lift while at a dead stop.

    This is not entirely true. While it’s accurate to say that their wings alone do not generate enough lift, bats are capable of horizontal takeoff.

    Vimeo: Bat quad launch takeoff from the ground

    plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0032074

    It would be more accurate to say that bats likely sleep the way they do for two reasons:

    1) predator avoidance, both through relative inaccessibility and through quick escape generated by

    2) the relative metabolic ease of achieving flight by falling from an elevated position.

  4. #4 Dr. Dolittle
    November 7, 2013

    Thank you everyone for the great comments and further insight into bat flight!

  5. #5 xan
    December 22, 2013

    Three bats are hanging on a branch upside down, when suddenly one of them turns upright.
    - Dude, did you see that, what is wrong with him?
    - I think he’s having a faint.

  6. #6 Bat Removal
    Columbus, Ohio
    January 12, 2014

    Nice article, I work in bat removal in the Columbus, Ohio area and get these types of questions on a regular basis as well as several myths about bats. Most are unaware of their habits and benefits to us, as well as that the live in our own homes! If anyone would like a lot more information about bats feel free to look on my website http://www.propestmen.com/ohio/critters/bats/bat_removal_bat_control.html thanks again.