Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ABC Wednesday: F ist for Fruit Bat

or for Flying Fox or Flughund (which means Flying Dog), but the name for the whole family is Megabat. Most of them are pretty big, but some species are just 6 cm long.
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Unlike microbats (the small ones you probably have seen flitting around in the dark, depending on where you live) fruitbats don't use echolocation. they rely on their sense of smell and can see very well. They feed on fruits and flowers and in some regions, they are important for pollination and to spread seeds.
The fruit bat in the photo above is a straw coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum), they can reach a wingspan of up to 30 inches. They live in colonies of several 10.000 individuals, sometimes even up to one million and can carry pieces of fruit in their cheek pouches.
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These guys are Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat (Epomophorus gambianus) - the males have white tufts of hair on their shoulders, hence the name. They live in big colonies, too, and the colonies are organized into smaller family groups and groups of juveniles and adults without a mate.
Fotos taken at the Tierpark Berlin.
A great picture book about fruit bats is Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon, which I really recommend if you have kids who like animals.

Find out what else F stands for with ABC Wednesday

22 comments:

RuneE said...

I have never managed to take photos of these - well done!

Leo said...

another very interesting and educative post in this ABC W Series :) liked it.

My ABC Wednesday Post

photowannabe said...

My grandkids loved the book Stellaluna. I haven't thought of that in a long while.
Bats aren't my favorite but they certainly have a lot of value to fruit and plants.

Sylvia K said...

They're spooky little critters but great choice for the F Day! Hope your week is going well!

Sylvia

Roger Owen Green said...

I don't mind bats as long as they aren't in my house!

On behalf of ABC Wednesday team, thank you! - ROG

Leslie: said...

Bats can be a bit creepy unless you've read Kenneth Oppal's books "Silverwing," "Sunwing," and "Firewing." Interesting facts here.

Kay L. Davies said...

Well, Jennifer, I just learned something new today. I had no idea there were foster homes for orphaned rodents. And I've never known much about fruit bats. I was also interested in some of your previous posts (I'm new to ABC Wednesday) and interested in the guanaco because I'm in the middle of reading Charles Darwin's "Voyage of the Beagle" and he mentions guanacos a lot. Very interesting. Thank you.

Carol said...

Great info on this fruit bat. We used to put up bat houses when we lived in the country as they eat so many insects. I have bought the Stella Luna book for my grandchildren. Its a different look at bats who have such a bad name. Enjoyed this post....

MorningAJ said...

What lovely animals. They're fascinating.

Paula Scott said...

Stellaluna is one of my favorite books and fruit bats are one of my most favorites animals in the animal kingdom. There is something about them that is so endearing. Great choice!

Gramma Ann said...

I enjoyed learning more about the Fruit Bats. I see a bat occasionally, and that is enough for me. Nice F day post.

Tumblewords: said...

Terrific capture. I'm not fond of bats, but I don't fear them. Maybe it's time I read Stellaluna!

Vernz said...

you really have captured them well, thanks for sharing...

My ABC Wednesday here
And Here Too
hope you can drop by, Have A Nice Day!

Lily Hydrangea said...

My son loved reading Stella Luna and I loved reading it with him.
Great post!

Pat said...

Great shots and very informative post. Well done!

Wendy said...

One of my fave. children's books is "Stella Luna" about a little fruit bat. These wonderful pictures and words reminded me of the book. Thank you :)

Wanda said...

Well look at that....they do hang upside down.....

Great shot, but I must say a little creepy!

K(Banterings of a Basketcase) said...

too cute. I like bats- unless they are flitting about my head.

Reader Wil said...

A wingspan of 30 inches! Wow that's big. I think that fruitbats didn't feature in the Dracula movies! Very interesting post!

ChrisJ said...

I had a friend who had a fruit bat as a pet -- at least I think that's what it was. She called it a flying fox, probably because people have bad associations with the word bat -- which is a shame.

Anna said...

Beautiful post! So interesting to read about these fruit bats. I don't think that I have had the pleasure of visiting your blog before. Glad I've found you. Tried to follow you, but could not get through to Google at this time.
Best wishes,
Anna

Anna's abcWed-F-words

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

I always learn so much from your posts! Bats intrigue me and I love Stellaluna!