Do Bats Have Milk Teeth And What Are Their Tongues Like?


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Kath Senior answered
Yes, like young humans, young bats have hook-shaped milk teeth that enable them to hang on to their mother's teats even when she is flying. Eventually, these teeth are replaced by a permanent set that will vary greatly from species to species depending on their diet. Flesh-eaters, such as the false vampire bats, have big, sharp, meat-shearing teeth, while at the other extreme the teeth of nectar feeding bats are reduced to little more than stumps.

The other major feature of a bat's mouth is its tongue which, in fruit bats, is extremely long and is also hairy. The bat uses this to probe deep within tropical flowers to extract pollen and nectar. The tufts of hair act in the same way as an absorbent wick – the hairs soak up the sugary nectar and the pollen sticks to them. Pollen also sticks to the bats muzzle as it passes from plant to plant and, in this way, the bat acts as a plant pollinator.

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