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.
Flying Foxes Are The World's Largest Bat
The Malayan flying fox hails in as the largest bat in the world. This endangered bat is a megaspecies that has made its home in the tropical region of Southeast Asa. Luckily, this species of bat isn't a carnivore and has no intention of slamming its massive, three pound body into any humans in an attempt to make them a meal.
They Feast On A Tropical DietVideo: YouTube
Flying foxes loves to dine on a diet of rainforest delicacies. Rightfully earning flying foxes the nickname of the "fruit bat," these creatures eat everything from eucalypt blossoms to figs, grazing on what they can find in the forest vegetation. They crave sources of sweet, sugary energy, and foods that will supply them with the boost they need to sustain their large bodies in flight.
They're Daredevils When It Comes To Catching FoodVideo: YouTube
The flying fox is a lot like a trapeze artist, except without the articulation and skill. This bat is a superb flyer and can navigate towering canopies with no problems. However, when it comes to landing, they crash and fumble into their destination, often smashing into bundles of branches and piles of forest foliage just to grab a bite to eat.
Flying Foxes Don't Use Echolocation
Unlike their smaller, microbat kin, the flying fox is a large mammal with excellent eyesight. Instead of using sound waves to pinpoint where they are and what's around them, they use their well-developed peepers to scour their terrain. The darkness of the night doesn't stop this nocturnal animal from getting where it needs to go, and it finds food just fine without needing to use squeaks and chirps to map out the area.