What is the State Flying Mammal of Oklahoma?
Mexican free-tailed bat is the official state flying mammal of Oklahoma. Oklahoma entitled the Mexican free-tailed bat as the official state flying mammal in 2006. The scientific name of the free-tailed bat is Tadarida brasiliensis. This mammal is considered of significance in Oklahoma as it is a tourist attraction and also because the bats help to keep the population of mosquito in the area.
The law designating the Mexican free-tailed bat, as the official Oklahoma state flying mammal is found in the Oklahoma Statutes, Title 25, Chapter 3, Section 25-98.11.
State Flying Mammal of Oklahoma Facts—
- Common Name: Mexican free-tailed bat or Brazilian free-tailed bat
- Scientific Name: Tadarida brasiliensis
- Color: Reddish to dark brown or gray
- Length: 9 cm (3.5 in)
- Weight: 7-12 g
- Diet: insectivores
- Cubs: 1 baby, once a year
- Major strength: Hearing power
- Major weakness: Short-sightedness
- Lifespan: up to 18 years
Oklahoma’s state flying mammal, Mexican free-tailed bats, (Tadarida brasiliensis) live in caves in the southern U.S., Central, and South America. Their colonies are the largest congregations of mammals in the world. Free-tail bats consume enormous amounts of moths and other insects. The largest colony found in Texas (near San Antonio) has nearly 20 million bats, which eat around 250 tons of insects per night.
A single free-tail baby bat is born during the summer. Young Mexican free-tailed bats roost separately from their mothers. Babies roost in the highest reaches of the cave, where temperatures are the warmest. The warm conditions are essential for rapid growth and survival. These bats may have a lifespan of up to 18 years.