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One of the animals mentioned in the Avesta is the bat. The ancient Zoroastrians thought bats were mixture of dog, rat, and bird because they can fly like birds, have teeth like dogs, and live in holes like rats. Today we know bats are mammals like us.

The ancient Zoroastrians believed the griffin bird was a bat. In ancient Iran, people liked bats because bats eat insects, lizards, and frogs.

Some bats like to drink blood. These bats are called vampire bats (picture below). They live in the forests of Central and South America. The vampire bat has sharp front teeth. It can bite a sleeping animal and get its blood.

In recent years, bats have been dying out. The forests where bats live are being destroyed. Many people kill bats because they don’t like them. Fortunately, some people are trying to protect bats by educating others about them. For example, Bat Conservation International is a world leader in bat conservation.