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The Noctilionidae family of bats, commonly known as bulldog bats or fisherman bats, are represented by two species, the greater and the lesser bulldog bats.[1] They are found near water, from Mexico to Argentina. The naked bulldog bat Cheiromeles torquatus does not belong to this family, but to the family Molossidae, the free-tailed bats.

The bulldog bats have orange to brown fur, and range in head-body length from 7 to 14 cm. They have relatively long legs and large feet, exceptionally so in the case of the greater bulldog bat. Unusual among bats, they have cheek-pouches for storing food, which give them their bulldog-like appearance. Both species are insectivorous, although the greater bulldog bat also eats small fish, using its echolocation to pinpoint the ripples they make on the surfaces of water.[2]

The greater bulldog bat trawls the water with its long, curved talons approximately 2–3 cm below the surface. It makes sweeps of between 30 cm and 3 m before ascending and turning to make a return sweep. In a single night, the bat may catch 20-30 small fish in this way.[3]


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