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Bats
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    blood-drinking, blood-eating, patagium, torpor, uninterrupted, pinpoint, worldwide, metabolism, eyesight, echo-location, vegetarian, pregnant, species, membrane, snout, link


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     Spanish: Los Murciélagos


Bats   

1     Bats are the only mammals that can fly! They are most active at night or during the twilight of dawn and dusk. When the sun rises over the horizon, bats return to their homes, hang themselves upside down with their clawed toes, and take a long nap! When they rest during the day, their body temperature drops, metabolism slows down, and they hardly move! This is called torpor. For bats that live in cold climates, they have a long, uninterrupted torpor, known as hibernation, during the winter months.
 
2     There are about 1,000 different species of bats worldwide. Although most of them live in tropical areas, some settle in cold places in northern Canada. The bumblebee bat is the smallest bat with a length of just 1 inch. It is also one of the world's smallest mammals. The largest bat is the Malayan flying fox. The Malayan flying fox can be as large as 16 inches long and have a wingspan of 6 feet.
 
3     Bats can fly for two reasons: hollow bones and limbs. Like birds, bats have hollow bones that make their skeleton lightweight and suitable for flight. Bats' arms, long finger bones, and legs form a framework. A double layer of skin, called wing membrane or patagium (pronounced "pe-tay-JE-em"), stretches over this framework to form a bat's wings. Bats have four fingers and one thumb on each arm. Their thumb has sharp claws and does not link to the wing. Bats use their two thumbs for gripping and climbing.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
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