What can be cute and ugly at the same time? A bat, of course!
Sometimes called flying rats or mice, there’s more to this winged mammal than meets the eye. They are some of the most diverse species in the world today, which is why there are some bats that are — to put it mildly — not as visually appealing as others.
Why are some bats uglier than others?
As it turns out, there is a reason why some bats are uglier than others.
Bats use something called echolocation, which involves producing high-frequency sounds using their mouths and noses. When the echo bounces back to them, they are able to form a better picture of their surroundings.
Some bats have a more complex and sophisticated echolocation apparatus than others. This means that their mouths and noses are shaped differently. Unfortunately, this can also lead to the development of uglier faces.
One specific group of bats called Microchiroptera have both leaf-nosed bats and horseshoe bats. This means that they have extremely complicated patterns of wrinkles, creases, and flaps around their nostrils.
Cool but also… quite ugly.
From kind of cute to cracked mirrors level of ugly, here are 10 ugly bats you won’t believe are real.
Ugly bats list
1. California Leaf-Nosed Bat
These bats are as interesting as they are ugly. There’s no way that you can miss this bat because it’s the only one in North America with gigantic ears. Not only that, but it also has leaf-like patterns on its nose, making its name very fitting.
This type of bat has an interesting diet. They are the only bats known to catch caterpillars and also eat cactus fruit. California Leaf-Nosed Bats should watch out for predators such as owls, snakes, coyotes, and raccoons. They should also watch out for any mirrors unless they want to scare themselves with their own unsightly ears and noses!
2. Griffin’s Leaf-Nosed Bat
Watch out, folks, we’ve got a looker! The Griffin’s Leaf-Nosed Bat is so incredibly ugly that it doesn’t even look batlike anymore. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if its face could startle prey to death.
These bats are found in Mexico, the southern part of Arizona state, and in Northern Argentina. They make their homes in a variety of environments, including caves, forests, deserts, and even buildings!
Ugly as they are, the nose leaf feature on this bat is actually very helpful. It allows them to detect high-frequency sounds. These wild animals may seem adorable to some people, but it’s best to leave them in their natural habitat as they can get very aggressive — definitely not cute.
3. Common Vampire Bat
Even though they are classified as common, there’s still something uniquely weird about Vampire Bats. And yes, being ugly is a part of that uniqueness.
These bats have pointed ears and longer thumbs in comparison to other bats. They also have short snouts that make them look almost pig-like. These ugly little noses actually have heat sensors that help them find the right spot on an animal’s body to feed.
Unlike other bat species, the Common Vampire Bat can show off a number of skills, including walking, running, and jumping. These abilities help them catch their prey.
As if their ugly faces weren’t enough to paralyze their prey in fear.
4. Tilda’s Yellow-Shouldered Bat
If you thought the previous bats on this list were ugly, then you ain’t seen nothing yet. Tilda’s Yellow-Shouldered Bat is a bat species found in South America. We feel bad if you’re from that part of the world because you might run into this ugly looking beast.
This bat gets its name from the yellow and orange patches of fur that males have on the glands of their shoulders. These glands are used to attract females. At least there’s a way for these bats to attract a mate because their faces certainly aren’t going to do it!
5. Spotted Bat
The Spotted Bat can’t be missed. While its face isn’t that ugly, its ears are so huge it’s almost out of this world. Its main diet consists of moths. Perhaps that’s why they need outrageously large ears: to hear the moths? We don’t know.
Thankfully, the ears of the Spotted Bat roll up around its head when it sleeps or rests. This is one of the few bats with an echolocation sound low enough to be heard by humans.
Unlike other bats that live together and are more social, the Spotted Bat is more territorial and solitary. Well, with ears like that, we don’t blame other bats for not wanting to spend time with this one!
6. Visored Bat
Visored Bats shouldn’t be allowed. It’s like someone took a monkey’s face, put large ears on it, and added a strange-looking piece of cartilage on the front.
Fortunately, Visored Bats are gentler than they look. These animals are frugivores, meaning they eat mostly fruit. There aren’t a lot of them either because they prefer to have as little sexual contact as possible.
Either way, we wouldn’t want to come across this ugly thing on our trips to South America.
7. Hammer Headed Fruit Bat
The Hammer Headed Fruit Bat has such a large head that it’s a wonder how it keeps itself in the air when flying. This is definitely one of the weirdest and ugliest bats you’ll ever see.
Found in Africa, these strange looking creatures are nocturnal and sleep in trees during the day. Females prefer to look for food from more established routes and predictable sources while males travel far and wide to look for newer and richer patches of food. Using their gigantic heads, they chew fruit to swallow the juice and pulp before spitting out the rest.
This bat, without a doubt, takes ugly to a whole new level.
8. Fringe-Lipped Bat
Wart-like bumps, a vertical nose flap, and big ears? Sounds like an ugly bat to us.
As if being ugly weren’t enough, The Fringe-Lipped Bat is also known for its unusual eating habits. They are also called frog-eating bats because they snack on Tungara frogs. Using their large ears, they listen for the calling sounds of male frogs. This bat can even detect water ripples surrounding their prey!
This bat’s face is so ugly that only its mother could find something to love about it.
9. Maclaud’s Horseshoe Bat
Is this a bat or an alien? To be honest, we can’t tell either. If you saw this out in the wild, you might even mistake it for an extremely poisonous-looking mushroom.
This is Maclaud’s Horseshoe Bat. Discovered in 2007, this species lives in the remote regions of far away eastern Guinea — thank goodness for the rest of us. It may be interesting to learn that its face is actually quite common in the different species of horseshoe bat, at least in the Rhinolophus genus.
All horseshoe bats must suffer the same fate as Maclaud’s with their leaf-like protuberances.
10. Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat
Last but not least on our list is the Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat. It may not be as shockingly ugly as the other bats covered here, but one look and you’ll know why we included it: it’s absolutely hilarious.
This bat literally looks like someone took Shrek’s ears and placed them on its nose. How unfortunate. Endemic to the Philippines, this bat is so covert that it took a while for them to be discovered.
Thank goodness, because if we had a face like that, we wouldn’t want to be found either.
And there you have it! We hope you enjoyed this article despite all the ugly faces that you saw.
For other fun and interesting reads, check out our other articles on The Awesome Daily.