Mexican Free-tailed Bats

March 9, 2012 by staff 

Mexican Free-tailed Bats, The Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis), also known as the Brazilian free-tailed bat, is a medium-sized bat that is native to the Americas and is widely regarded as one of the most abundant mammals in North America.

 However, its proclivity towards roosting in large numbers in relatively few roosts makes it especially vulnerable to human disturbance and habitat destruction and declining numbers at some roosts such as in the western state of Utah have been documented.

In the western coastal state of California, the bat is considered a species of special concern as a result of declining populations. The species’ winter migratory habits and destination points are still relatively unknown. The Mexican free-tailed bat is the official state bat of both Oklahoma and Texas, and its image is the icon for the Bacardi rum brand.

Mexican free-tailed bats are about 9 cm (3.5 in) in length, and they weigh about 12.3 g (0.43 oz). The tails makes up almost half the length. Their ears are wide and set apart to help them find prey with echolocation. The fur color varies from dark brown to gray. This species also has distinctive short snouts and wrinkled upper lips. The tail of the bat extends beyond the uropatagium, hence why they are named “free-tailed” bats.The wings are long, narrow and pointed, making them well-equipped for rapid, direct flight.

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