Scholastic and AMNH present Scicence Explorations Soar with Bats: Night Fliers of the Skies
Bats Belong
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Exploration Exchange
Backyard Science
Putting It Together
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Bats versus Birds
Use the photos and facts to compare birds and bats. Then answer the questions below.

  1. Based on fossil evidence, the first bats lived on Earth over 50 million years ago.
  2. Bat wings consist of a double layer of skin that is stretched over bones.
  3. Bats are warm-blooded creatures that are most active at night. They breathe air through lungs, and give birth to live young.
  4. The shape of a bat’s teeth gives clues about its diet. Insect-eating bats, for example, have sharp teeth that can break through the hard shell of an insect’s body.
  1. Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates and breathe air through lungs. They are the only group of animals covered with feathers.
  2. Not all birds can fly -- just look at an ostrich or a penguin! And not all flying animals are birds.
  3. Birds hatch from eggs and, unlike most vertebrates, they don’t have teeth.
  4. Scientists have discovered that some dinosaurs survived the great extinction millions of years ago. Their modern day relatives are parrots, pigeons, and the 9,000 other kinds of birds living today.

Answer the questions based on the evidence.

What’s one fact that makes you believe bats are birds?
What’s one fact that makes you believe bats are not birds?
Do you think bats belong in this group? Why or why not?