There was a time, when if pressed to answer a trivia question about the average life span of a bat, I’d probably have said five years or some such figure. It seems like a reasonable length of time given how small bats are.
I would have been wrong. Very wrong.
Bat’s live exceptionally long lives. Instead of living a few years, they can survive for decades.
While the exact life span varies from one species to another, all bats enjoy long lives. Some, such as the black flying fox, live about twenty years. Others, like the little brown bat, can celebrate their fortieth birthday provided they’re able to avoid predators, flying accidents, starvation, and white-nose syndrome.
The microbat with the most impressive life span is the Brandt’s bat. Members of this species might weigh in at a paltry 4-8 grams but they don’t let their small size stop them from living a long, long time. They’re capable of living up to forty-one years, making it the longest living mammal per its body size.