Why Do Bats Sleep Upside Down? | COLOSSAL QUESTIONS


– [Narrator] There’s
nothing more frightening on a crisp fall night than a screeching bat swooping
from its upside-down perch. But why do bats
hang upside-down? Let’s find out on
today’s episode of – [Commanding Voice]
Colossal Questions. – [Narrator] Bats are
nocturnal creatures, which means they sleep all
day and stay up all night. While most of life
on Earth is sleeping, bats blindly glide through
the sky using echolocation, finding insects and
small animals to eat. As the sun starts to rise, bats pack it in and look
for a place to sleep. They search for dark, shady
spots where they can hide while they sleep. Caves, rock crevices,
attics, trees, and the nooks and crannies
found high up on buildings. But why do bats
hang upside-down? Just to be extra creepy? Or is there actually
a good reason? There’s a few reasons for it. First off, it leaves them in
the best position for takeoff. You see, bats can’t launch
into the air from the ground like most birds. Their wings aren’t
strong enough for takeoff and their back legs are too
weak to get a running start. Instead, bats climb up high
and fall into their flight, so sleeping upside-down
lets them fly away instantly if they need to escape danger. Hanging upside-down
also helps bats hide. While bats sleep, most other
animals are awake and hunting, so without a good hiding
spot, they would be easy prey. Groups of bats tend
to huddle together in dark, secluded spots where
no animal will find them, and since they’re the
only flying animal who hangs upside-down, they don’t have to battle
birds for prime hanging spots. Okay, so that’s why bats
like to hang upside-down all the time, but how? Wouldn’t their talons get tired and blood rush to their heads from hanging around for so long? After all, as humans, if we hang upside-down
for even a minute or two, blood rushes to our heads and the muscles holding
us up start to strain, but bats have it different. They befall to sleep upside-down just as easily as we
sleep on our backs. That’s because the
tendons in a bat’s talons that close their claw is
attached to their upper body, so when they hang, the weight of their upper body automatically pulls
their talon closed, locking them in place. In fact, it works so well that bats who die
hanging upside-down will stay that way until
something knocks it free. So, if you thought bats
hanging in dark corners was creepy enough, just be
glad they’re still alive. (playful music)

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