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Flying Fox

Posted in Mammals

The flying fox is the largest bat in the world!  They can have a wing-span that reaches 5-6 feet wide and they can weigh up to 2 1/2 pounds.  There are over 60 different species of flying fox.

 

Flying fox are nocturnal flying mammals. They are covered with fur all over, except on their wings. The wings are actually two thin layers of nearly hairless, soft, strong, elastic skin. This skin stretches between their finger bones and attaches to the side of their body from the arm, all the way down to the ankle. They use their feet and jointed thumbs to move nimbly about treetop branches.

 

 

Where-do-they-live

Flying foxes live in the tropical regions of Africa, Australia, and Asia. They live together in large groups and hang upside down high in the branches of large trees.

 

 

What-do-they-eat

Flying foxes feed on fruit, flowers, nectar, pollen and leaves. They eat the pollen and nectar from the buds and blossoms of fruit trees as well as the juice of the fruits. Their favorite trees include eucalyptus, tea-trees, grevilleas, figs, lilly pillies, paperbark and turpentine.

 

 

What-are-their-predators

Pythons, sea-eagles and owls all eat flying foxes.  Other predators include iguanas, fish and crocodiles.

 

 

What-are-their-defenses

The best defense a flying fox has is its ability to fly.  Not many predators can attack it once it takes flight.  It’s not a fast flyer, but has great maneuverability in the air.

 

 

Did-you-know

 

flying foxes see much better than other bats? They are more active throughout the day because they use their eyesight to help them get around. They also have a better sense of smell.  They do not have echolocation as other bats do.

 

Can-you-believe

flying foxes can swim?   The flying fox is actually a great swimmer and uses its wings as flippers.

 

My-favorite-thing

about flying foxes is their incredible wingspan!

 

What’s your favorite thing about the flying fox?

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