The Egyptian Fruit Bat - A Unique Type Of Flying Fox
Despite its name, the Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) is found in Asia and all Middle Eastern countries, as well as in most parts of Africa.
Why is it a unique sort of flying fox? Well most fruit bats don't
but this species does. Unlike the very high frequency sound emitted by insect-eating bats, you'd be able to hear this bat's echolocation, as it let out a succession of clicking noises.
This species uses echolocation to find its way around the caves they roost in. This is another unusual characteristic as most fruit bats prefer tree roosts.
So what sort of fruit do they eat? They're not that fussy (although they do like figs and dates a lot) and feed on the juices of most types as long as they're not hard. They often eat fruit that's been damaged in some way and are also able to digest unripe fruit. The also feed on nectar of flowers.
They belong to the
sub order Megachiroptera. This literally means "big hand-wing" but these bats don't get that large.
Their maximum wingspan is 0.6 m, which is relatively small compared to the Australian Grey-headed flying fox (there's a photo on the
pictures of bats
page), which can have a wingspan of over 1 m (around 3 ft and a bit).
As far as reproduction goes, one baby (pup) a year is the norm and by about the age of 2 to 3 months, it'll be ready to venture out on its own and find food for itself. Now and again, a female bat will give birth to two pups.
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