Weird Nature

Meet The Flying Fox - A Mammoth-Sized Gentle Giant 

Crystal Brackett
Updated June 3, 2020 29.7k views 12 items

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.

back to page 1
The Flying Fox's Wingspan Can Reach Five Feet
The Flying Fox's Wingspa... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Meet The Flying Fox - A Mammoth-Sized Gentle Giant
Photo:  Daniel Vianna Mr.Rocks/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA 3.0

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.

They Fly Around With Their Babies
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

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 Are Forest Dwellers
Flying Foxes Are Forest ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Meet The Flying Fox - A Mammoth-Sized Gentle Giant
Photo:  Welbergen/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA 3.0

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. 

They Nest In Colonies Consisting Of Up To A Million Bats
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

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.