Leaf-nosed batNursery roost of the Common PipistrelleBats in a cave at the Yaxchilan ruins in Chiapas, Mexico.
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Bat

Bats are flying mammals in the Chiroptera order with forelimbs developed as wings. Other mammals, such as flying squirrels or gliding phalangers, can glide limited distances, but only bats are capable of true flight. more...

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The name Chiroptera can be translated from the Greek term for Hand Wing, as the structure of the open wing is very similar to an outspread human hand, with a membrane (patagium) between the fingers that also stretches between hand and body.

Though the vast majority of bats (appr. 70%) are insectivorous, a significant number from both suborders, Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera (see below), feed on fruits and their juices. Three bat species eat blood but some prey on vertebrates. These bats include the Leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae) of Central and South America, and the allied family Noctilionidae (Bulldog bats) that feed on fish.The Ghost Bat of Australia is one example of a carnivorous bat that even feeds on other bats. Some of the smaller species are important pollinators of some tropical flowers. Indeed, many tropical plants are now found to be totally dependent on them, not just as pollinators, but eating the resulting fruits and so spreading their seeds. This role explains environmental concerns when an exotic bat is introduced in a new setting. Tenerife provides a recent and particularly interesting example here, given the island's unique flora and fauna (much of it vestiges of the ancient continent of Gondwana). In this case, the exotic bat threatening native species is the Egyptian Bat (Roussettus aegyptiacus) 1.

Read more at Wikipedia.org

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