The animal on the cover of Version Control with Git is a long-eared bat. It is a fairly large bat that is common and widespread throughout Great Britain and Ireland. It can also be found in Japan. Often seen in colonies of 50 to a 100 or more, it lives in open woodlands, as well as parks and gardens and in spaces under houses and church roofs. It also hibernates in caves, where it is more solitary in habit.
The long-eared bat is a medium-size bat with a broad wingspan of about 25 cm. Its ears are very long and have a very distinctive fold—their inner edges meet each other on the top of the head, and their outer edges end just behind the angle of the mouth. When the bat sleeps, it folds its ears under its wings. During flight, the ears are pointing forward. Its fur is long, fluffy, and silky, extending a short way onto the surface of its wings. It is dusky brown in color on top and light or dirty brown in color below. Juveniles are pale grey, lacking the brown tinges of the adults. Their diet consists of flies, moths, and beetles. It glides among foliage, frequently hovering to scour for insects. When traveling to another tree, its flight is swift, strong, and close to the ground.
Long-eared bats breed in autumn and spring. Pregnant females form nursery colonies of 100 or more in early summer, and the single young or twins are born in June and July.
Bats are the only true flying mammals. Contrary to popular misconception, they are not blind—many can actually see very well. ...