Do bats walk on the ground?

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Bats are animals that were designed to fly, not walk on the ground. Out of over 1,200 species of bat that we know about, only two of them have been reported to walk on the ground, or to appear as if they are walking on the ground. They are the lesser short-tailed bat, also know as the burrowing bat, and also the Vampire bat.

The New Zealand burrowing bat or lesser short-tailed bat, as the name would suggest, only lives in New Zealand. They’re quite small, only measuring up to 7 or 8 cm in length, but their wingspans are often much larger, around 30 cm. Another nocturnal bat, it has claws which help it to grip and propel its little body along, and there are also grooves on both the joints of the elbows and on its feet. This gives the bat wrist strength that other bats don’t have, and this also helps to propel the creature forward, making it appear as if it is walking along the ground.

The vampire bat, on the other hand, actually walks so well that it can run. Most bats have quite thin legs, but the vampire bat’s legs are thicker, stronger, and capable of holding the animal’s weight upright. They can actually move their bodies quite fast too.

In general, bats aren’t meant to walk along the ground. If you see a bat on the floor it is likely to be injured. As much as you would probably love to help the creature, do not touch it with your bare hands. Bats can carry many diseases, none of them you will want to invite into your home. If the bat is on the floor close to where you live, you may want to consider giving your home a once-over to make sure there are no hidden spots giving them access right inside.

For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does bat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of bats - my main bat removal info guide.
Example bat removal photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Bat job blog - learn from great examples of bat jobs I've done.
how to get bats out of your attic

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