The bats, an order of placental mammals of worldwide distribution, characterized by a modification of the forelimbs that enables them to fly. They are capable of emitting ultrasonic sounds that enable them to echolocate, find flying insect prey, and avoid objects in the dark. Though mostly insectivorous, some species feed on nectar, fruit, fish, and blood; the blood-feeding and insectivorous species are important reservoir hosts of rabies.
[chiro- + G. pteron, wing]
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