Egyptian Fruit Bat

(Rousettus aegyptiacus)

Most assume bats are birds, but in reality they are mammals! They share several similarities with humans, including having hair, giving live birth, and providing milk for their offspring. Bats have a very short upper arm and extremely long finger bones. The skin of their wings is stretched between their finger bones. If you look closely you’ll see a hook on the top of each wing- those are thumbs. This is just another example of how different bats are from birds.

Fruit bats are named for their preferred diet of soft, pulpy fruit like dates, peaches, and apples. Egyptian fruit bats eat between 50% to 150% of their body weight in fruit EVERY DAY. Fruit bats can swoop in to get a mouthful of fruit, or they can hang directly on their food. Either way, they usually suck the juice from the fruit and drop the pulp on the ground. This makes fruit bats very important for seed dispersal in their natural environment because those fruit seeds will fall to the ground wherever the bat is.

The Egyptian Fruit Bat finds its home in scattered areas of Africa. They are also found in India and Pakistan. The lowlands, the mountains, and everything in between seem to be habitats for the Egyptian Fruit Bat. As long as they have a place for shelter and to find food they seem to do very well.

Egyptian fruit bats have an adaptation called echolocation, where they make high-frequency clicks using their tongue and listen carefully for echoes with their sensitive ears. This helps them visualize their environment and locate food. The sounds are too high for humans to hear. The echolocation clicks start out slowly but become more frequent as they approach an object.

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