Nature's big bat night quiz

Bat Night quiz

International Bat Night takes place 24-25 August 2013 and is an annual event designed to champion the often misunderstood mammals. Test your knowledge of bats in the UK and further afield with our quiz.

pipistrelle and brown long-eared bat in flight (c) Bat Conservation Trust

1.) Question 1

All of the UK's bats are protected by law. How many different species does that include?

  1. 11
  2. 16
  3. 18

2.) Question 2

The common pipistrelle is the UK's smallest bat. Which is the smallest space it can fit into (wings folded)?

Common pipistrelle (c) Hugh Clark
  1. Cereal box
  2. Match box
  3. Toilet roll tube

3.) Question 3

They might be small but pipistrelles have big appetites. What is the maximum number of midges they can eat in a night's hunting?

  1. 300
  2. 30,000
  3. 3000

4.) Question 4

Why do bats often have their mouths open in photographs?

Noctule (c) Dietmar Nill /
  1. Because they are echo-locating
  2. Because they are hungry
  3. Because they are cooling off


Bats are not blind, they can see as well as humans. But to hunt in low light they rely on echolocation to build up a sonic map of their surroundings.

An illustration of an echo-locating bat (c) Hugh Clark

5.) Question 5

What do all UK bats feed on?

  1. Insects
  2. Blood
  3. Dung

6.) Question 6

Vampire bats * penguin chicks

  1. protect
  2. attack
  3. befriend

7.) Question 7

Which is the rarest bat species in the UK?

  1. Lesser horseshoe bat
  2. Grey long-eared bat
  3. Greater mouse-eared bat

In decline

Grey long-eared bats are another of the UK's rarest species and conservationists are concerned for their future. A four-year study by scientists from the University of Bristol and Bat Conservation Trust estimated that there were just 1,000 of the bats left - all confined to southern England.

Grey long-eared bat (c) Anton Alberdi / Bat Conservation Trust

8.) Question 8

What gives the horseshoe family of bats its name?

Horseshoe bats (c)
  1. They are considered lucky
  2. They have horseshoe shaped noses
  3. They fly near horses feet

9.) Question 9

X-ray video reveals bat's * trick

  1. flight
  2. feeding
  3. dance

10.) Question 10

How many species of bat are there in the world?

Niumbaha bat (c) Bucknell University / Deeann Reeder
  1. Less than 110
  2. More than 1,100
  3. Precisely 769


  1. We have 18 native species of bats, 17 of which are known to breed here.
  2. Weighing less than a 1 coin, tiny pipistrelles can fit into a match box.
  3. They appear to jerk as they quickly fly around to catch up to 3,000 small insects a night which they eat on the wing.
  4. Bats find out where they are by emitting sounds and listening for echos, meaning they often have their mouths open.
  5. All UK bats are insectivores, vampire bats that lap at blood are only found in South America. The diet of bats elsewhere in the world includes fish, frogs, fruit and nectar.
  6. Filmmakers recorded vampire bats preying on Humboldt penguins in Peru for the first time for the BBC One series Penguins: Spy in the huddle.
  7. Only one greater mouse-eared bat is believed to live in the UK. They were declared extinct in 1990 but a single male was found in Sussex in 2002 and has been recorded there every year since.
  8. The bats have a leaf-like horseshoe-shaped protrusions on their noses that are thought to help focus echolocation calls.
  9. US researchers used X-rays to produce remarkable videos of bats in flight that reveal the movement of their skeletons.
  10. There are over 1,100 bat species known to science. The black and white Niumbaha group in South Sudan is the latest to be discovered.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Bad bat

4 - 7 : Fly by night

8 - 10 : Dark knight!

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