Family - Pteropodidae
(Old World Bats)


The megabat, contrary to its name, is not always large: the smallest species is 6 centimeters (2.4 in) long and thus smaller than some microbats. The largest reach 40 centimeters (16 in) in length and attain a wingspan of 150 centimeters (4.9 ft), weighing in at nearly 1 kilogram (2.2 lb). Most fruit bats have large eyes, allowing them to orient visually in the twilight of dusk and inside caves and forests.


Their sense of smell is excellent. In contrast to the microbats, the fruit bats do not use echolocation (with one exception, the Egyptian fruit bat Rousettus egyptiacus, which uses high-pitched clicks to navigate in caves).  Bats are usually thought to belong to one of two monophyletic groups, a view that is reflected in their classification into two suborders (Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera). According to this hypothesis, all living megabats and microbats are descendants of a common ancestor species that was already capable of flight.

Author: Andrew G
Published: 2/12