Can Bats Swim? Fascinating Facts That Will Completely 'Bat' You Away!

Ayan Banerjee
Feb 29, 2024 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Nov 11, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Grey headed flying fox just after skimming the surface of a pond
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.8 Min

Bats are mammals in the order Chiroptera.

They are the only animals that can fly with their forelimbs that have adapted to become wings, swim, and live on land too. They are also more maneuverable than most birds.

The Kitti's hog-nosed bat is the smallest mammal known to exist. It measures 1.1-1.3 in (29 to 34 mm) long, and its wings are 5.9 in (150 mm) wide. The biggest flying fox is the Acerodon jubatus which has a weight of 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) and a a wingspan of almost 5.6 ft (1.7 m). Bats are the second largest subgroup of mammals after rodents. They were previously divided into two suborders, the fruit-eating mega-bat and the echolocating microbat. With more recent evidence supporting this idea, the order has been split into two groups, insectivores and the microbat. Bats are the only animals that can maintain a sustained flight. They may also reach a ground speed of around 99.4 mph (160 kph).

If you enjoyed this article why not read about what does bat poop looks like or why do bats sleep upside down here at Kidadl?

Are bats afraid of water?

No, small bats can swim so they are not generally afraid of water.

The California myotis as well as the California leaf-nosed bat are great examples of flying foxes that have broad and short wings. These bats can live in water sources as little as 3 by 4 ft (0.9 by 1.2 m). They prefer to drink from larger tanks. Science says bats like to drink water from swimming pools and this is a very natural behavior for them.

Do bats drown in water?

Like other animals, bats are quite vulnerable to drowning in case they ever get stuck in a a water tank.

They can easily drown if they get trapped in a tank that does not have even a single escape route. The easiest way for bats to escape is by swimming in the tank. Bats are more afraid of the thought to climb out of water for example, any pond or lake. Bats are not able to estimate the sides of the pool after they have fallen in it. Bats tend to drown in swimming pools very often due to this reason. Bats are no doubt good swimmers and can survive in ponds or pools if they crawl towards the sides of pools.

Bat drinking water during night time

Can bats go under water?

Yes, they can definitely go underwater.

Although there is a chance that this animal can drown inside swimming pools or ponds, these species keep their thumbs and feet free, and also there is a wing membrane stretched between the arms, fingers, and legs of bats. Bats are excellent swimmers. You can often see bats crawl around pools. However, you should not try to handle bats. These small species of bats can be a little venomous and may cause rabies. Some species of the pteropus genus, such as the flying fox, are known to swim to secure a meal. Although bats commonly live near a water source, they are more likely to be affected by the bugs that live around them. They consume about a third of their diet around water.

Can bats fly with wet wings?

No, bats that get wet are called broken bats.

Rain, moisture, or anything wet may harm bats directly. It is definitely not a good plan to keep bats wet in a pool or swimming pool. If bats spend too time in moisture, then the compressed willows present in bats get expands. The willows are very similar to a sponge as the surface of bats is very porous. As the bat's willow expands, the hard protective cover is lost. Bats without that hardcover will for sure crack or spilt. This can happen when you throw a wet ball towards bats.

How do I keep bats out of my pool at night?

These animals are known to drink from the water of a pool or a pond in a garden. They do it because they're afraid that predators will attack them if they get too close to the surface.

Bats are consuming plenty of swimming pool water these days, which is bad for their health. Bats can become very difficult to remove once they establish themselves in a home. They can stay there for years without being removed. Bats can also be seen moving around inside and outside of their nest. They can also hide in the cracks and crevices of your home.

Bats can hide in almost anything, so be sure to look for signs of their nests or hiding places. Trim hardware cloth into pieces that are large enough to cover the entrances and holes that you find in your home. Place the hardware cloth against the hole in the ground and secure it with a screw and a screwdriver. This will keep bats from entering your house.

How can you help bats taking a dip in your backyard pools?

More and more bats are drinking swimming pool water. This means it is likely you may see more bats in your garden.

Bats seem to fly towards the light, but they are actually eating bugs. These are often dark and round, and they often smell like rotten musk. A bat box is a great way to provide a place for bats to roost. It can be placed anywhere that is wooded or has a large cavity. If bats are in an area that's dark, try leaving a light on. They tend to hide in quiet places and prefer to be disturbed by loud noises. Keep natural bowls hanging on your balcony to let them drink water during their flight.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly factsfor everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for can bats swim then why not take a look at bats as pets or ghost bat facts.

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Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

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