Bats Make Scary Faces to “See” Better

A lot of people find bats creepy. There are a lot of reasons for this, such as their mythical association with vampires and ghouls. One thing that makes people nervous about bats is that their faces often look menacing and aggressive, like they’re threatening to bite.

But this weird grimace isn’t what you think. When a bat is using echolocation— its primary means if finding bugs to eat— it has to open its mouth to emit sound waves and to interpret those sound waves correctly when they bounce back to its ears.

In tighter spaces, they open their mouths wider so they can focus their sound beams more effectively, so a bat photographed in captivity will almost always have a wide, gaping mouth.

Remember most animals don’t express themselves the same way we do. Don’t let facial expressions get lost in translation. Bats mean you no harm!

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