In Latin, the word "chiroptera" means "hand wing". Chiropterans or bats have a worldwide distribution except in polar regions. They are abundantly found in tropical parts of the world. The order Chiroptera contains 925-1000 species of bats. Bats are the only unique and fascinating mammals that can fly. Their body is covered with fur and the young suckle like other mammals. These mammals are beneficial to mankind in many ways. Firstly, they consume a large number of insects and thereby play an important role in controlling the insect population. Secondly, many fruit bats are important in dropping seeds of plants in many areas and subsequently these seeds sprout into plants. Finally, many nectar eating bats help in pollination during their search for nectar. However, their droppings are also used as fertilizer. Many bats such as the flying foxes and the larger fruit eating bats are very popular exhibits in zoos. Kitti's hog- nosed bat weighing 1.5 gm is said to be the smallest mammal in the world. Hawks, owls, snakes and a variety of small mammalian carnivores are the natural predators of the bats. The order Chiroptera is classified into two suborders: Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera. The Megachiroptera has a single family Pteropodiae that contains 165-175 species of flying foxes or fruit bats. Bats in this group are larger in size and are found in tropical and subtropical parts of the Old World. Most have a dog like face. They have large eyes and small ears. Most species have a claw on the hind digit. Their eyesight is excellent. The diet of megachiropterans principally consists of fruits and flowers. The suborder Microchiroptera contains about 80 per cent of the entire bat population. They are found throughout the world and are usually smaller in size. They have small eyes and large ears. They feed chiefly on insects and small animals. Some well known bats in this group include mouse-tailed bats, leaf-nosed bats and vampire bats.