Bats aren’t “flying mice”.
In fact, according to the most recent evidence, bats’ closest relatives are carnivores (dogs, cats, bears, etc.) and hippos, and we humans are more closely related to rodents than bats are. Bats differ from rodents in another major way (besides the flying). Most rodents have ‘fast’ lifestyles, meaning they live short lives, start breeding at a young age, breed many times a year and have lots of small offspring). Bats have ‘slow’ lifestyles. In fact, for their size, bats have the most extreme longevity and slowest reproduction, for reasons science is still uncovering.
The eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis), shown here (with triplets), is one of the few species in North America that has multiple births. But as in all bats, each pup is huge, relatively speaking – litter mass can be 50 % of the female’s body mass. Ouch!
Photo: Josh Henderson CC BY-SA 2.0.