Do bats sunbathe?

What a ridiculous question!  It is a well known fact that bats like hanging about in dark places like belfries or caves.  In fact, our bat gave up his usual place behind the front door shutter last year to hang in the atelier when it was very wet.

So I was surprised yesterday, as I was enjoying sunshine and temperatures in the lower 20’s, that the bat looked as if it was doing the same thing!

Bats in France often find shelter in old quarries or disused railway tunnels so perhaps, after a winter of hanging about in places like that, a nice bit of sunshine on the back of your neck feels really good.

He often moves up and down the wall behind the shutter during the day but he had moved half-way out from behind the shutter, and because the sun was shining in from the side, his whole body was in the sunshine.  He must have been very hot because I could not have sat out in the sunshine in a black fur coat!

So perhaps sunbathing bats are more common than we think.

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Do bats sunbathe?

  1. How fabulous, Amelia – I didn’t know you had a resident bat! Don’t know how I’ve managed to miss your previous posts on the subject.

    He’s taking a risk by exposing himself to predators like that, but gaining that warmth from the sun saves him some metabolic expenditure in warming himself up, I guess, making it worth it.

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    • Bats are mammals and so they are warm-blooded like us but I see your point that it is a type of temperature regulation. I just wonder why he wants to warm up in the early afternoon so soon before his nightly flights. It looked just for enjoyment, but that’s my human thought process. Amelia

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      • Maybe it is for enjoyment – I’m sure humans are not the only animals who take pleasure in things. (E.g. Some animals take a liking to alcohol and have preferences for certain types of food – our cocker spaniel liked beer and Austrian smoked cheese.)

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      • You are right, of course. But I have learnt that bats do have trouble maintaining body temperature when inactive and that is why they hibernate in colonies. I was wondering about bees. Do they fit into either warm or cold- blooded? I have absolutely no idea about how their circulation works, but we had a bee nest in our roof once and we could hear them (in the room below) cooling the nest with their wings when it got very hot. Or at least that is what we thought they were doing.

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        • Bees do not maintain a constant body temperature like us. Their main concern is to keep the eggs and larva at a constant temperature to keep them viable. In summer with lots of brood and bees, the brood frequently needs to be cooled, which is what you heard. In winter there is very little brood and less bees but the bees cluster around the brood and can shiver to produce heat to keep the centre of the cluster and the brood warm. This is exhausting work and needs lots of honey to supply the energy and the bees change place sharing the heat production role with an insulating role on the outside of the cluster.

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  2. I do think animals like to sunbathe and why not? I often see hoverflies, wasps and all types of bees resting on a large leafy plant in the sunniest spot at the back of the garden. The plant never flowers so they’re not hanging about for the nectar! 😉

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