In European cultures, bats have long been associated with witchcraft, black magic and darkness. The witches incorporate bat in their brew in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Because bats are mammals, yet can fly, this gives them status as liminal beings in many cultural traditions.
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, can only glide for short distances. Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, as birds do, but instead flap their spread-out digits, which are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium.
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