Children's Author Bonnie Lee | Children's Books | Educational Children's Books
Fruit bats can be found anywhere in the world, they mostly like to stay in the tropical areas because not only do the tropics have an abundance of fruit, but also they have the heat.
Bats do not like cold weather and while some bat species are willing to hibernate, the fruit bat is not one of them. You can find fruit bats in places like California, Hawaii, Mexico and the tropics.
Their food consists on fruit, blossoms, nectar, pollen and small seeds of native trees. The fruit juice and pulp is obtained by crushing the fruit. They spit out the skin and fiber after swallowing the juicy pulp.
Fruit bats diet contains mostly fruit and no insects or blood at all. They do tend to feed from flowers, taking a cue from the butterfly and eating the sweet nectar out of the flowers, but generally speaking a fruit bat will stick to just fruit.
Larger fruit bats will sometimes eat an entire fruit piece whole, for they have a larger mouth, bigger teeth and they are able to swallow a larger fruit whole. The smaller fruit bats will just hover and flap their wings in front of the fruit or flower, stealing bites from the fruit.
Fruit bats are the largest of bats and one of the most important to humans.
Many of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy on our table would not exist without fruit bats. While eating fruit, they disperse the seeds all along the ground and pollinate the flowers of many plants. Depending on the species, these bats may consume up to twice their body weight in fruit in less than three hours.
Fruits that depend on bats for pollination or seed dispersal include: Banana, Peach, Dates, Carob, Avocado, Jack fruit, Plantain, Mango, Guava, Cashew, Fig & Durian
Fruit bats tend to live in large colonies, or “camps.” in dense forest areas. Within these camps, one male fruit bat usually lives with up to eight female bats.
They have five toes with long claws on each foot. The long claws allow them to hang from trees. They hang upside down most of the time but they straighten up to urinate or defecate by hanging by their thumbs.
Their long arms have special skin between their fingers. This skin creates wings that allow bats to fly. Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Fruit bats have very good senses of smell and sight (contrary to the myth that all bats are blind).
Fruit bats are nocturnal, and hang from their feet during the day. They may hang with their wings wrapped around their bodies, or, if it is hot, may use their wings to fan themselves.
Although fruit bats are good at flying, landing is another story! Fruit bats can’t land gracefully, and instead must crash into bushes or trees to come to a stop, or try to latch onto a branch as they pass by. Sometimes these crash-landings disturb other fruit bats at the site, and cause noisy fights amongst them.
Their keen sense of smell is important in locating their food. They have sensitive noses and large eyes that enable them to pick up the scents of flowers and ripe fruit and locate them in darkness. Sometimes they travel long distances in search of their favorite trees.
Baby fruit bats drink milk from their mother’s nipples. The nipples are in mum’s armpits.
Baby bats are about 2 months old when they can fly on their own; their mothers spend a lot of time teaching their babies.
Sometimes fruit bats are called flying foxes because of their little fox-like faces.