The megabat, the fruit bat, the fabulous flying fox - these common names all describe the mammoth flying mammal that's more scientifically recognized by its genus, Pteropus. But exactly what are flying foxes other than a giant cat that's been stuffed into a bat's body? What's actually up with them? Are they bats? Cats? Foxes that transformed into giant, flying beasts somewhere along the sands of time?
Facts about flying foxes reveal that they're actually a huge part of the ecosystems of Southeast Asia and are capable of much more than your average cave-dwelling bat. Their large bodies allow for them to accomplish daring physical feats and live an intricate lifestyle full of long-winded flights and multiple mates as they linger amongst the island rainforests, diligently pollinating the environment with various flower and fruit seeds. Read on to learn more about these fascinating creatures.
The wingspan of this flying giant is simply marvelous. Spanning the length of an entire five feet (and sometimes much more) the flying fox is well-equipped with a set of mighty aerial assets. This bat is a master at maneuvering across the skies and its pair of mighty wings are lightweight and aerodynamic enough to carry it to great heights.
When a flying fox gives birth to a child, the mother doesn't dare leave it behind while she searches for food in the night. Instead, the mother bat takes her child along with her in flight, carrying it around while it clamps on tightly to her underbelly.
These bats become very attached to their young, and she will continue to carry it around with her until it is too big to fly with.
Flying foxes don't live in caves, they live in the foliage of thriving, forested environments. Swamps, mangroves, and the tall trees of rainforests are all welcoming homes for the large beasts, and these regions are full of flowers and fruit for them to feast on. As deforestation pushes these creatures out of their natural homes, some flying foxes such as the Mauritius flying fox, have become endangered.
When flying foxes are done foraging the land for food and they're ready to call it a night, they snuggle up in a colony comprised of anywhere between thousands to millions of bats. As the bats continue to be pushed out of their natural cooping environments, these colonies only continue to grow, shoving a seemingly unfathomable multitude of giant creatures into a suitable place to sleep.