flying-foxes

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A gif of a swimming bat! Although there is little scientific data on the subject, observations by naturalists in the field seem to support the fact that some bats swim in stressful situations but that it is not normally part of their ordinary behavior patterns. 

For example, flying foxes, often island inhabitants, may have to fly long distances to obtain food. A forced landing or a foray over water to collect fruit which has dropped and floated there may necessitate an unexpected swim. Photographs of the flying fox, Pteropus giganteus, show the animal actually swimming, using its wings and feet to reach land rather than floating or paddling. (Source)

I really miss having time to dedicate myself to a worthwhile cause, such as raising orphaned Bats who lost their Mother’s due to habitat destruction and releasing them in to the wild. If I didn’t need money to live I would volunteer all of my time, no superficial desires or possessions can ever give me the same satisfaction as saving the life of at least one animal. These two Black Flying Foxes are Scarlet (left) and Connor (right) who I cared for for three months before they were released. 

Flying Foxes
Chiroptera: Pteropodidae: Pteropus

Genus Pteropus
Illustration by *JennyParks

Done as part of a larger commission for a research project by Susan M. Tsang [a CCNY grad student] who studies the phylogeography of Southeast Asian animals, particularly that of flying foxes  Pteropus, she says, is an ideal focal taxon for Southeast Asian biogeographic studies.

  • Flying foxes are Old World fruit bats that play an  important role in seed dispersal in island ecosystems.
  • They are distinct evolutionarily from other bats in their reliance on sight and smell for navigation and for their plant-based diet.
  • They are also increasingly recognized as natural reservoir hosts for emerging infectious pathogens.

Flying foxes have evolved with these pathogens so they are not harmed by them, but as humans and agricultural activity increasingly encroach on natural habitats, we increase the potential of transmitting pathogens between organisms that would not naturally co-occur otherwise.

Furthermore, flying foxes are hunted heavily as part of the bushmeat trade or by farmers who view them as pests. A majority of flying foxes are endangered and their dizzying population declines are a major cause for concern to biologists.

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