Egyptian fruit bat

They hold their food tightly and closely to their bodies while feeding, preventing the food from being stolen by other bats

YUVAL BARKAI

Sporting a fur coat that ranges from dark brown to grey-brown on the back and transitions to a pale brown on the underside, this bat also features a distinctive yellowish-brown collar around its neck, adding to its visual appeal. The wings of the Egyptian Fruit Bat, darker than the body, extend the membrane to the first toe, a trait that aids in its agile flight and maneuverability through the air.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Egyptian Fruit Bat is its exceptionally long tongue, which, when not in use, coils around its rib cage in a remarkable display of evolutionary adaptation. This specialized tongue is perfectly designed for feeding on fruit and nectar, allowing the bat to reach deep into flowers and fruits to extract its nourishment.

As frugivores, Egyptian Fruit Bats primarily consume a diet of fruits, with a particular fondness for figs, dates, and apples, and will occasionally supplement their diet with leaves. This dietary habit makes them crucial pollinators and seed dispersers in their ecosystems, contributing significantly to the regeneration of plant life and the maintenance of biodiversity within their habitats.

Beyond their dietary habits, Egyptian Fruit Bats possess one of the highest brain-to-body weight ratios among bat species, a testament to their complex sensory and cognitive capabilities. The areas of their brains associated with vision and olfaction are particularly well-developed, equipping them with excellent night vision and a keen sense of smell.

The social structure of the Egyptian Fruit Bat is another area of interest, with these bats often forming large colonies that can number in the thousands. These communal roosts, typically located in caves, abandoned buildings, or dense foliage, provide safety in numbers from predators and facilitate complex social interactions among bats. Within these colonies, Egyptian Fruit Bats exhibit a variety of vocalizations and behaviors that underscore their sophisticated social dynamics and communication methods.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Angola
2016
Burundi
2016
Cameroon
2016
Congo-Brazzaville
2016
Cyprus
2016
Côte D’ivoire
2016
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2016
Egypt
2016
Equatorial Guinea
2016
Bioko
Eritrea
2016
Eswatini
2016
Ethiopia
2016
Gabon
2016
Gambia
2016
Ghana
2016
Guinea
2016
Iran
2016
Israel
2016
Jordan
3,000
Official estimate
LC
2016
Kenya
2016
Lebanon
2016
Lesotho
2016
Liberia
2016
Libya
2016
Malawi
2016
Mozambique
2016
Nigeria
2016
Oman
2016
Pakistan
2016
Rwanda
2016
Sao Tome And Principe
2016
Saudi Arabia
2016
Senegal
2016
Sierra Leone
2016
South Africa
2016
Spain
2016
Canary Is.
Sudan
2016
Syria
1,000-2,000
Official estimate
LC
2016
Tanzania
2016
Togo
2016
Turkey
5,000-10,000
Official estimate
LC
2016
UAE
2016
Uganda
2016
Yemen
2016
Zambia
2016
Zimbabwe
2016

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Colony

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No