How long do bats live?
Bats, these mostly small winged mammals, are known for sleeping during the day and flying around during the night, not to mention their unique characteristic of sleeping upside down.
That being said, as interesting as bats might be, we are not here to talk about that, but to understand their lifespan and how long they can live in captivity vs in the wild.
Bats actually do have a very long lifespan, being able to live up to 20 years. And even if this doesn’t seem too impressive, think about this: 20 years for bats are the equivalent of about 100 years for a human to live, so, yes, it’s quite a lot!
How long do bats live in the wild?
Bats usually live in large colonies inside caves. Although some species do live in trees, most of them stay in caves, only going out during the night or when they migrate to warmer weathers during the winter.
Considering their natural habitat and the fact their predators (except for owls) don’t know how to fly, they actually have a big chance to live a long, normal life, making it possible for them to reach the 20 years mark without any problem.
Keep in mind, bats are predators too, but they usually eat insects, so they don’t really expose themselves too much to larger animals that could hurt them or decrease their life expectancy too much.
How long do bats live in captivity?
Like we mentioned before, bats actually do live longer in captivity than in the wild, being able to live up to 30 years, easily surpassing the 20 years mark. Actually, there have been cases of bats living as long as 40 years, although this is very unlikely to happen.
During their life in captivity, bats continue to eat what they would normally eat in the wild, meaning a diet composed of little insects during the night time, since they tend to sleep most of the day away.
It is thanks to the fact they are not longer exposed to their natural predators that bats get to live longer in captivity than they would usually do if they were living out in the wild, especially since they carry out their normal diet as if they were in their natural habitat.
Life expectancy of bats according to the species
Fruit bats/Flying foxes
Little brown bat
6-7 years in the wild.
Giant golden-crowned flying fox/Golden-capped fruit bat
15 years in the wild and 23 years in captivity.
Egyptian fruit bat/Egyptian rousette
8-10 years in the wild.
Kitti's hog-nosed bat/Bumblebee bat