It was the tweet that started it all:
— TheFeaturedCreature (@ftcreature) September 7, 2013
Little did I know that when I posted this photo of some bats hanging upside down – and then flipped 180 degrees – that the internet would absolutely flip out. Who knew sassy, dancing bats would be so popular? Almost 5,000 retweets?! I mean, damn.
I do see the appeal, though. Who doesn’t love a good bat doing the salsa, can-can, mashed potato, or whatever other obligatory dance move you can name? So, in honor of all that is good and great in the world, I’ve compiled some more bats hanging upside down – and then flipped – who appear to be having the time of their lives and dancing their little furry butts off!
Hah… dancing at a cave rave. I’m so funny
But anyways, I figured this would be a good time to explain exactly why bats hang upside down while sleeping during the day; waiting for the dark of night to swoop off and feed on insects and other goodies (depending on the species). There are actually a couple of reasons why they hang out (literally) in this position. First off, bats have itty-bitty legs which are incredibly weak. They don’t have the leg strength to be able to take off from a running start – like birds do – to get into the air. Their wings are also no where near as powerful as a birds’ and therefore don’t allow the bat to garner the necessary lift to take off from a dead stop. So, by hanging upside down the bats can just fall into the air and take off that way. It’s the lazy way to start flying. That’s my kinda mammal.
The other main reason bats will hang upside down is that it takes little to no energy for them to do so (see, told you they were lazy!). Unlike humans who have to use various tendons and muscles to clench something in our fists, bats only need to let their body weight pull their claws closed to grip something. They don’t need to exert any extra force (except to unclench their talons) when hanging onto something.
The take away from all this is that 1. bats are incredible dancers and 2. they’re the laziest mammals out there (not counting myself, of course).