Optional

The flying fox - Wanted poster


Characteristics

Surname: Flying fox
Latin name: Megachiroptera
class: Mammals
size: up to 35cm head-hull length
mass: species-specific
Older: 10 - 30 years
Appearance: black-gray
Sexual dimorphism: No
food: Flower nectar, fruits, plant juices
distribution: Asia, Africa and Australia
original origin: probably Africa
Sleep-wake rhythm: twilight and nocturnal
habitat: Tree caves, rock caves
natural enemies: Birds of prey, wildcats
sexual maturity: with two to three years
mating season: December - February
gestation: about 4 months
litter size: 1 - 2 kittens
social behavior: colony forming
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the flying fox

  • The flying foxes or megachirpotera describe a family within the bats and flappers, which are native to subtropical and tropical areas of Asia, Africa and Australia.
  • Within the fruit bats is differentiated between nearly two hundred kinds. The Nile Flying Fox is the only representative of this family, which is occasionally found in Cyprus and Turkey.
  • The individual species differ greatly in body size. The smallest representatives reach a wingspan of just 25 centimeters, those of the largest fruit bats is up to almost one and a half meters long. Depending on the species, fruit bats weigh between a few grams and a kilo.
  • The flying fox owes its name to its dog-like head with the big black button eyes, which allow it an excellent view in caves and during foraging in the dark.
  • In contrast to their close relatives, the bats, the sense of hearing of the dark and nocturnal flying foxes with their small pointed ears is much less pronounced.
  • For this, they have an excellent sense of smell, which helps them to find their food and as a guide.
  • In contrast to bats, batshots are not oriented by echolocation, but only by the eyes and the sense of smell.
  • Some species migrate like bats during the day in buildings, ruins, rocky corridors or caves, where they sleep upside down hanging from the ceiling. The species that inhabit the rainforests hang during the day mostly dormant from tall trees. In very warm regions, fruit bats are often found in caves that reach depths of up to 1,600 meters.
  • Despite their sometimes impressive size, fruit bats are not dangerous to humans and animals because they are pure herbivores that feed on fruits and flower nectar.
  • Depending on the species, they pick the fruits to carry them away or crush them on the spot to eat the juice and pulp. Some species also suck the juice from flowers and fleshy leaves.
  • After the mating, which takes place upside down, the female gives birth to only one juvenile, which is nursed for several months by the mother.
  • Many females join together in groups, the so-called nurseries, and raise the young together.
  • The life expectancy of the fruit bats is up to thirty years.