Bat Junior Ranger Activity Page

color photo of brown bat on gray rock
Big Brown Bat

NPS Photo/Abigail

Bats are amazing animals. They are the only true flying mammals. More than 1400 types of (species) of bats exist around the world. 47 bat species can be found in the United States and 16 kinds can be found in Arkansas. Have you ever seen a bat?

Buffalo National River is home to 12 species of bats. The park is a place for them to live and a place for them to be protected. 3 endangered species find shelter here: Ozark Big-Eared Bat, Gray Bat, and Indiana Bat. Bats face many threats to their survival. One threat is a fungus called White-nose Syndrome. Find more about bats in the park on our Bats and White Nose Syndrome page.

Bats and You

Bats are mammals, just like you! Bats belong to the Order Chiroptera. This is from the Greek words for hand wing. Below, look at the bones inside a bat wing and the bones inside a human arm. The bone structure is very similar. Can you find the similarities?
Fill in the blanks to name the bones of the human arm. Hint: Use the names of the bat bones as a guide.
Two drawings, one of a bat wing and the other of a human arm.  Both show the bones inside of each.  The bones in the bat wing are labeled.  The bones in the human arm are not.

Bats Big and Small

Bats are divided into two groups: Megachiroptera(also know as Megabats) and Microchrioptera (also known as Microbats).

Megabats are fruit bats found in the tropics in Asia. They are often very large. As they feed on the nectar or fruit of plants, bats collect pollen or seeds from plants including ones used by humans such as banana, mangos, cashews, and figs. They help pollinate and spread seeds for new plants to grow.

The bats in the United States are Microbats and eat insects. They are smaller in size. Bats are great bug killers so they help slow the spread of diseases carried by mosquitos and help farmers use less chemicals by eating the bugs that eat crops.
Do the math activty below to see how many bugs bats eat!

Bonus Critical Thinking: White-nose Syndrome is a fungus that kills bats. It has killed more than 6.7 million bats in the last 15 years. After you do the math activity, think about how many insects haven't been eaten by those millions of bats.

math activity


Last updated: April 14, 2020

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