Organism of the day #2
#education #halloween

NAME:
Large Flying fox

SCIENTIFIC NAME:
Pteropus vampyrus

KINGDOM:
Animalia

ENDANGERMENT:
Near-threatened. The massive bat has no cataloged predators, other than humans

LIFESPAN:
15 to 30 years in captivity, around 15 years in the wild

SIZE:
While hanging, the length of the bat is 11 to 13 inches (27 to 32 cm) and it weighs 1.4 to 2.4 lbs (0.65 to 1.1 kilograms). These bats have an almost surreal wingspan of 1.5 meters, or 4 feet and 11 inches, roughly the size of a 5th grader. Male specimens experience a slight sexual dimorphism, having thicker coats of fur than the females of the species

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:
Head- The head of the bat is almost dog or fox-like in its features. The ears are pointed and the skull of the creature is very strong with 34 teeth in the jaw of the creature. The fur of the creature gets shorter closer to the head area. The fur here is often different from the remainder of the body, being a more red or orange color with blackened features near the snout and ears
Body- The body of the bat is covered in dark-colored hairs that are longer and more wooly than that of other bats. In addition to the fur thickness, males’ fur color is also different than that of females with juveniles having a dull grey-brown color that enriches into a brownish color with maturity.
Arms- The arm bones of the bat bear special adaptations that allow the beast to fly. The bones are thin and very long, bending at the elbows. At the end of the arm, there are long and skinny finger bones that support a membranous flap of skin, the wings of the creature that span on for nearly 5 feet

HABITAT:
The large flying foxes find themselves most at home in the deep forests and humid swamps of southeastern Asia and Oceania. The mammals have found themselves using agricultural areas as grounds to forage for what it may be that local farmers have provided for them. The flying foxes make homes in various food providing places of the forests, such as near mangrove, coconut, or mixed fruit trees. The bats mainly like lowland areas such as around 365 meters above sea level in places like Malaysia.

BEHAVIOR:
Like many other bats, these humongous bats are highly social using a cacophony of squeaking to communicate with other flying foxes. They live in groups that can breach numbers in the thousands, with feeding groups ranging in size between just two foxes to fifty. These bats are nocturnal and leave their grounds just after the sun sets over the horizon to feed, with some individuals traveling 50 kilometers to reach the feeding grounds. Oddly, the bats do not vocalize with brethren during flight. When they reach the grounds, they perch at the tips of branching upright and fall upside-down to feast on delicious fruits. Being mainly herbivores and frugivores these bats love to dine on meals of bananas, mangos, leaves, nectar, pollen, and flowers. At these eating grounds, there can occasionally be unfamiliar bats attempting to fly in for a meal along with the stranger colony, in which the colony engages some highly defensive mannerisms and screech at the perpetrator until the stranger sees himself out. They also expand their wings and do growls to deter the unwelcome guests.

SOURCES:
https://www.animalspot.net/large-flying-fox.html
https://www.thainationalparks.com/species/large-flying-fox
https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Pteropus_vampyrus/
https://owlcation.com/stem/Flying-Foxes-of-Asia-Fascinating-Bats

IMAGE:
The large flying fox in flight, like a phantom in the daytime