Bats...Helpful or Harmful?

When most people think about a bat, the image of a vampire with sharp teeth comes to mind. In reality, there are nearly 1,000 different kinds of bats-and very few like to suck blood! Thanks to many scary movies, bats have gotten a bad rap. These mammals are actually very helpful -- not harmful -- to humans.

Many bats eat fruit. When a bat nibbles on a piece of fruit, its seed will fall to the ground. Soon, some of these fallen seeds will sprout. Then new plants begin to grow. Other fruit bats use their tongues to drink pollen. As they drink, the pollen from one type of flower sticks to their tongues. Then they fly to another flower. When they stick out their tongues to drink once again, some of the old pollen rubs off. This helps the new flower make seeds. These new seeds then grow into new plants. All of these new plants are very helpful for humans.

Other bats help us by eating insects. Most of the bugs that bats like to eat are considered pests. They are bugs that sting. They are also bugs that can harm crops or spread illnesses. .....

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