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Spectacled Flying Fox ()

Spectacled Flying Fox

The Spectacled Flying Fox

This native Australian bat got its name from the light colored fur around its eyes resembling glasses.  It can be found living in the tops of trees in the northeastern parts of Queensland.  It has also been seen in New Guinea and small islands close by.  Since bats are nocturnal they spend most of the day resting in groups numbering into the tens of thousands on top of trees where they hang upside down.  They don't sleep much and chatter amongst themselves.  They bring their wings around them like a vampire to keep their body heat inside.  When the sun sets they leave the trees in search of food.  They will  use their sense of smell, night vision and will follow sounds made by other bats to find sources of food.  Their diet consists of nectar and pollen from flowers and fruits.  They have been seen eating citrus fruits and even mangoes.  Because of this they are also known as the spectacled fruit bat.  They weigh between 400 and 600 grams, (14 to 21 ounces), and have a body and head length of about 23 cm, (9 inches).

 

 

Since they drink by skimming the water they are often caught by crocodiles.  They also have to be careful of other predators like the carpet python and the white-breasted sea-eagle. 

After two years of age, a female spectacled flying fox can give birth to one baby after mating during the months of March through May.  The baby is born between the months of October and December.  In captivity they have been known to live up to 17 years. 

These bats have been added to the threatened species list in 2002. One of the factors of its decline in population is the introduced tobacco plant that houses ticks that attach themselves to the bats when they feed on the flowers and paralyze them. There are efforts being done to save the bats that have been bitten by giving them medication and taking care of their babies until they can be reunited and sent back into the wild. 

 

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Bibliography:

http://taos-telecommunity.org/EPOW/EPOW-Archive/archive_2005/EPOW-050926.htm
http://rainforest-australia.com/flying.htm
http://www.batconservation.org/content/meetourbats/spectacledinfo.htm
http://www.amonline.net.au/bats/records/bat4.htm


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