Why are bats hanging and not sitting

How do bats sleep upside down?

Bats do something that no other animal does: they sleep upside down! For us humans this is inconceivable - we would get blood rushing to our heads after a short time, and hanging upside down is not comfortable either! Why do bats do this?

And why don't they fall down?

The bat is pretty well adjusted to hanging upside down. There is a special device in their legs: a special tendon runs from the claw to the knee. And this tendon is surrounded by a sheath that is studded with tiny barbs.


If the bat bends its claws (it does so as soon as it clings to the ceiling somewhere), the tendon snaps into place on the barbs. For the bat, hanging works without any effort. It happens automatically.

Your blood circulation is also adjusted to this and pumps the blood back from your head to your heart without any problems. So the bat can relax and hang upside down, clean itself and sleep.


Some species even hibernate in this position and hang from the ceiling for months. And some bats are even still hanging from the ceiling after they're dead.


Why bats choose this airy place to sleep is not exactly known. But there are some clear advantages: since bats are the only ones up there, there is no scramble with other animals for the roost, and they are safe from predators. You also have a great overview. And should there be any danger, the bats can simply run away without using a lot of energy!