Fruit Bats are a species of bat that do indeed eat fruit, but there is much more to them than the words that make up their name. You see, fruit bats are also called Megabats. They are the larger of the two distinct suborders of bat, megabat and microbat. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There are so many interesting and surprising facts about this particular species of bat, and each one gives us an added appreciation for them. Continue reading to learn more about fruit bats and what their lives are like out there in the wild.
Megabats are scientifically referred to Megachiroptera. They are also called fruit bats, as you already know, as well as, Old World Fruit Bats and Flying Foxes. They are referred to as Flying Foxes because they are one of the most prevalent species of fruit bats in the world. Just as people often refer to all bandages as “Band-Aids” when in fact “Band-Aid” is the brand name not the product name. The same informal use of the term, Flying Foxes, applies to Fruit Bats. There are numerous species of Flying Foxes, such as the Grey-Headed Flying Fox, the largest fruit bat in Australia. Others include the Black Flying Fox, the Spectacled Flying Fox, the Little Red Flying Fox, the Seychelles Fruit Bat, Caroline Flying Fox, the Pelew Flying Fox, and many more.
Megabats are larger than their sister-species, the Microbat. But this does not mean that all fruit bats are large. Some can be as small, or smaller, than some species of Microchiroptera. Physically, fruit bats have large eyes, one of the most recognizable and distinguishable features of a megabat. They also have large ears, another big identifier. When it comes to wingspan, they certainly have bragging rights. Wingspans of fruit bats can extend to great lengths, depending on the particular species. Larger fruit bats can grow wingspans that measure up to 5 feet or more!
Now since they have large eyes and pronounced visual centers, their vision is pretty good. In fact, theories imply that megabats do not use echolocation like microbats do for this reason. The only exception to this fact is the Egyptian Fruit Bat that uses a sonar-like system by emitting sharp clicks with their tongues. As for diet, fruit bats do eat fruit and the juices of fruit, as their name suggests, but they also eat nectar and pollen. This makes them significant parts of the Eco-system as they eliminate seeds they eat and pollinate plants.
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