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The Egyptian fruit bat according to MammalMAP
Egyptian fruit bat. Egyptian rousette. Rousettus aegyptiacus. All these names refer to this widespread megabat. These bats are typically dark brown to light grey in colour and weigh an average of 150 g. Its wingspan stretches to 60 cm. Their eyes are large and are adapted for twilight and night vision.
Like the name suggests, Egyptian fruit bats feed on large amounts of fruit. Wild dates are their favourite but they will consume any soft, pulpy fruit. They can also eat unripe, insect damaged fruit which helps them to tolerate habitats that may not have ripe fruit all year round. These bats perform a vital ecosystem role by pollinating the fruit trees as well as aid seed dispersal when they spit out the seeds of the fruit.
These bats form colonies that vary in size. Once breeding season is finished, males and females will roost closely together to reduce fluctuations in temperature. This also allows the colony to communicate during the day. At sunset, individuals leave the roost to forage and will return before sunrise. These bats use visual orientation and echolocation to navigate their environment. Egyptian fruit bats produce a series of short clicks using their tongue against the side of their mouth and use these clicks to navigate in the dark.
Egyptian fruit bats usually have a single baby each year but twins are occasionally born. Female bats carry their young at first but after awhile they will leave them at the roosts while they find fruit. At 3 months old, young bats learn to fly on their own. These bats typically stay in the same colony that they were born in.
The IUCN Red list classifies Egyptian fruit bats as a species of Least Concern. Despite some fruit farmers poisoning and killing some bats on their farm, the species is wide spread and abundant.