Bats of the World. A Golden Guide by Gary L. Graham Ph.D., Fiona A. Reid

By Gary L. Graham Ph.D., Fiona A. Reid

Летучие мыши - чрезвычайно интересные животные. К сожалению, некоторые люди излишне боятся летучих мышей. Другие не знают о той важной роли, которую выполняют летучие мыши в природе и о том, как легко некоторые их популяции могут быть уничтожены.

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Thus, bats are crucial to healthy tropical forest ecosystems. 36 N ECTARIVOROUS bats feed mostly on nectar and pollen. Almost all of them belong to a few species in the families Pteropodidae and Phyllostomidae. Nectar - and pollen ­ feeding bats may periodically eat insects, and fruit eaters may consume flower products on occasion. Nectar- and pollen-eating bats behave and even look somewhat like hummingbirds. They are small, delicate bats with long snouts. Their long tongue often has a brushlike tip that actually increases the bat's capaci ty to lap up nectar.

Roosting bats in this family frequently hold their folded wings at an angle away from the body. 62 PROBOSCIS BAT This bat is often seen by travelers on tropical rivers in the Americas from southern Mexico to Bolivia and Brazil. Proboscis Bats may be mistaken for moths when distur bed and flushed from roosts. Small groups of a bout a dozen individuals roost on branches, fallen trees, and rocks near water. The brown fur flecked with white, wavy lines on their back, and the tufts of gray hair on their forearms make these bats difficult to see even in daylight.

90 mm); with its frog prey. Range is southern Mexico to Peru and southeastern Brazil. 31 Mexican Fishing Bat; Ia 3 in. (75 mm); found on islands and along coastal areas of Baja California and adjacent Mexico. PISCIVORY, or the eating of fish, is a specialized form of meat eating and is used by only about six different species of bats. Bats that catch fish have long legs and large feet with long, sharp, curved claws . Their claws, toes, and legs are flattened, which reduces resistance when they are dragged through water .

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