Mammal

Rodrigues fruit bat

Area: 
Rodrigues Island (off the east coast of Madagascar)
Habitat: 
Moist tropical forest
Food: 
Fruit, flowers, and sometimes insects
Size: 
Body is about 13 inches long; wingspan from 29 to 30 inches
Babies: 
Pup clings to its mother until it grows too heavy to carry; flies on its own but stays near mother for about a year.
If you look at a close up picture of a bat wing, you’ll see 4 “finger” bones like those in your hand.
Bat Camp

 

 

With their furry face, long snout, and pointed ears, these animals look enough like a dog to be called “flying foxes.” But fruit bats have a very different dietThe food an animal eats. from their meat-eating look-alikes.

 

Fruit bats are very social animals. A group, called a colonyA group of the same kind of animal species living together., roosts together in a “camp” tree—it’s their home base. The most dominant bats get the top branches of the tree. Females and young males hang from lower or side branches.

 

As the sun goes down, the bats leave the camp tree in search of fruit. When a fruit bat finds a meal, it uses its tiny, sharp teeth to bite a piece off. Then it presses the pulp against the roof of its mouth to squeeze out all the juice and spits out what is left.

 

As a feeding fruit bat brushes against flowers, pollenFine, powdery, yellowish grains that are the fertilizing element of flowering plants. gets caught in its fur. When the bat flies to another tree or flower, some of the pollenFine, powdery, yellowish grains that are the fertilizing element of flowering plants. falls off. This is one way that fruit bats help the trees that give them food.