Hang­ing around

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - WILD OCTOBER -

Hal­loween in­vari­ably turns pub­lic at­ten­tion to bats, yet most sto­ries about these mam­mals are far from the truth. For one thing, the pop­u­lar im­age of bats hang­ing up­side-down, wings wrapped around their bod­ies like pash­mi­nas, is mis­lead­ing. Only two Bri­tish bats do this – the greater and lesser horseshoes, named for their strange ‘nose leafs’ (flaps of skin) that aid echolo­ca­tion. Lesser horseshoes are a spe­cial­ity of south-west Eng­land, Wales and western Ire­land, and this month en­ter their hi­ber­na­tion roosts. As seen on the BBC’s Win­ter­watch last Jan­uary, they favour cel­lars, tun­nels and caves with con­sis­tently cool air.

Learn more about UK bats at bats.org.uk

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