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- 1a mainly nocturnal mammal capable of sustained flight, with membranous wings that extend between the fingers and connecting the forelimbs to the body and the hindlimbs to the tail.
- Order Chiroptera: many families and numerous species. The large tropical fruit bats (suborder Megachiroptera) generally have good eyesight and feed mainly on fruit; the numerous smaller bats (suborder Microchiroptera) are mouselike in appearance, mainly insectivorous, and use ultrasonic echolocation
late 16th century: alteration, perhaps by association with medieval Latin batta, blacta, of Middle English bakke, of Scandinavian origin