Megabat

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Nyctimeninae
Cynopterinae
Harpiyonycterinae
Macroglossinae
Pteropodinae
Rousettinae
Epomophorinae

Megabats constitute the suborder Megachiroptera, family Pteropodidae of the order Chiroptera (bats). They are also called fruit bats, old world fruit bats, or flying foxes.

Contents

Description

The megabat, contrary to its name, is not always large: the smallest species is 6 centimetres (2.4 in) long and thus smaller than some microbats.[citation needed] The largest reach 40 centimetres (16 in) in length and attain a wingspan of 150 centimetres (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, as a rule, use echolocation (with one exception, the Egyptian fruit bat Rousettus egyptiacus, which uses high-pitched clicks to navigate in caves).

Behaviour and ecology

Fruit bats are frugivorous or nectarivorous, i.e., they eat fruits or lick nectar from flowers. Often the fruits are crushed and only the juices consumed. The teeth are adapted to bite through hard fruit skins. Large fruit bats must land in order to eat fruit, while the smaller species are able to hover with flapping wings in front of a flower or fruit.[citation needed]

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