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Bats roosting in my porch: 6. Morphology of the Common Fruit Bat

on 16th August 2014

The Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) is a mammal and has the capacity of true flight – unlike flying squirrels and flying lemurs that actually are gliders. Its face is dog-like (above)

Like other bat species, it hangs on one or both feet when at rest with the help of its sharp, recurved claws at the tip of the five toes (below). With the head hanging down, it can suddenly launch into flight by releasing its grip on the hanging surface.

The thumb, with a sharp claw at the end, is used for food manipulation, clinging to surfaces or in crawling. It is also used in grooming.

The sharp pair of ears, with their concentric folds(?) on the inner surface, are thought to help in sound reception (above left). They regularly twitch when the bat is roosting, except when it is totally at rest. Note the long red tongue, usually covered with papillae (hairs) at the tip to help in mopping up nectar LINK as well as in grooming (above right).

YC Wee
Singapore
August 2014

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 responses

  1. The picture of its open mouth is interesting – I’d like to take a closer look at their teeth. Was the bat opening its mouth to call? P.S. Have tons of BESG posts to catch up on!

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