Did you know?
Bats are the only mammals that can fly! Other “flying” mammals like sugar gliders, flying squirrels, and colugos cannot truly fly: they can only glide for short distances. Bats, however, are capable of powered flight for long durations.
For more information on the evolution of bat flight:
Zhang, G., Cowled, C., Shi, Z., Huang, Z., Bishop-Lilly, K. A., Fang, X., … & Tachedjian, M. (2013). Comparative analysis of bat genomes provides insight into the evolution of flight and immunity. Science, 339(6118), 456-460.
For more information on gliding mammals:
Vernes, K. (2001). Gliding performance of the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) in mature mixed forest of eastern Canada. Journal of Mammalogy, 82(4), 1026-1033.
Sketch by Amelia Munson
Fact contributed by Allison Lau