VSL:SCIENCE // Bats on the run

Discover columnist Carl Zimmer has collected seven spellbinding videos of bats flying, hovering, landing, walking, and (remarkably) running.

Scientists are only beginning to study extra-slo-mo videos of bats in action, but they’ve already learned that bat flight is nothing like bird flight: The mammals are slower, but they maneuver better and use less energy. As for walking, most bats do it poorly, but the vampire bat — which likes to tiptoe up to its victims — can also give chase on the ground. We’ve never seen anything like it.

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