Megabats also known as fruit bats come from the family Pteropodidae of the order Chiroptera. They are mostly found in tropical and subtropical parts of Eurasia, Africa, and Oceania. They have fox-like faces with clawed paws. They are nocturnal means active at night rather than day. They are the only mammals that can fly. These flying foxes have a very rapid digestive system in them. Fruit bats are also known as natural reservoirs of viruses.
Fruit bats are flying mammals with a fox-like face structure. They have bright eyes, pointy little ears, short snouts, and fur-covered torsos. These winged animals come in various colors but they are mostly found in black, brown, red, tan, and grey. They have small bodies with lightweight bones that make them easy to fly. Their fur is very woolly—golden colored on the head, neck, shoulders, and sometimes on their back.
Fruit bats are great sniffers and can smell the tastiest fruit from more than 3 miles of distance. Their wingspan is approx 5.5 feet large. In comparison to females, male fruit bats are larger in shape and size. Fruit bats are shy and they avoid coming in contact with human beings.
Scientific classification of Fruit bat
The behavior of the bat
They come out from their caves or trees at night for their food and other work. Some species can be seen in the daytime. In the family of bats, fruit bats are the only mammals who are only dependent on their sense of smell and eyesight. They socially keep themselves surrounded by a large group of up to 200,000 individuals. They are known for being the most social mammals.
They have the ability to learn from other individual bats and alter their vocalizations to contact in different local dialects. They make different sounds and noises such as squeaking, bleats, and trills.
Ecology of the Fruit bats
Habitat of fruit bats
Fruit bats are found in the region of tropical or subtropical forests. Some species can be seen in the parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and Australia. It is observed that mostly the half population of flying foxes or fruit bats roosts in trees and the rest of the species of mammals inhabit caves, buildings, and bushes. These fruit bats can survive and stay in a particular region for a decade if left undisturbed.
Food eaten by fruit bats
These flying mammals are herbivores. In fact, they are fruit eaters i.e frugivores, and mostly fed themselves with the juices of fruits, leaves, pollen, nectar, and saps. They carefully chew their fruits by pressing pulp against the roof of their mouth with tough and squeeze the juices of the fruits to suck it.
Predators of fruit bats
Fruit is commonly eaten by snakes, lizards, birds of prey, and carnivorous mammals. Many farmers who live in jungles or forests are also dependent on fruit bats for their food. Overhunting, destruction of habitat, medicinal use, natural disasters, and climate changes are a few of the major issues for the dwindling number of fruit bats and also lead to population control.
Interesting facts of fruit bats
- In Some species of fruit bats, male members produce milk for young ones.
- Fruit bats are highly sociable, so they sleep in a large group.
- They also help in the pollination of flowers and seed transfer.
- They can fly at a speed of 12-31 mph (20-50 km/h).
- A Fruit bats baby is called a pup.
- A flying fruit bat travels a long distance but because of a method of trap lining, they can locate the exact area where they roost before.
- They are dichromatic meaning their eyes consist of both rod cells and cone cells which helps them daylight and night vision.
Fruit bats are cute, dangerous, and exotic flying mammals on the planet earth. They are the largest-sized bats in the world. We have to protect these species from getting extinct due to human immature activity.