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FLYING FOX » Features, Feeding and Reproduction

The flying fox, a rare mammal that comes from the Pteropodid family. It’s considered one of the world’s largest bats.

Depending on the region, its name may have some variation, for example it is called Australian Flying Fox, Red Flying Fox and Philippine Flying Fox.

Characteristics of the Flying Fox

The flying fox is one of the rarest and largest mammals in the world, in fact it can reach over a meter in length, with wings that are up to 5 feet long.

In addition, its wings are so long that they can completely cover its body. It weighs about two and a half kilos.

An interesting feature of the flying fox is its peculiar face, as it does not look much like other bat species because its nose is similar to that of a dog or fox.

Unlike other bats that have rather pointed ears, in the flying fox this is not so evident. It has bulging brown eyes that stand out from its face.

It is also endowed with strong legs that are muscular and allow it to stand firmly in trees.

What we have just mentioned is something strange in such a large animal, but it can do so because when it is hanging from the trees it holds on to its hind legs which have strong toes and whose tendons have lumps which, when the flying fox closes its leg, fit perfectly like a lock. That system gives it the support it needs to be able to hold its whole body hanging from the tree.

In addition, its legs have strong, sharp claws that allow it to climb from one tree to another in search of food.

Because these animals travel over large areas of territory, they play an important role in the ecosystem and in the spreading of seeds.

Therefore this mammal is an important collaborator in the conservation and spreading of seeds in the forests where they live.

Where does this Rare Mammal live?

This rare animal comes mainly from the Philippines and Australia. That’s why it’s called the Philippine or Australian flying fox.

The flying fox lives in the rainforests and forests of the above-mentioned countries, where it stays exclusively in caves or can be seen hanging from trees.

What do flying foxes eat?

The flying fox is a frugivorous animal. Its diet consists of fruits, seeds and sprouts. If necessary, it spends the whole night in search of all the food its body requires.

Water is part of this animal’s life, and to find what it needs it looks for rivers where it can bathe and drink from the same water. On other occasions it takes advantage of the water inside the caves it uses as a refuge.

How do these strange animals reproduce?

The way these winged mammals reproduce is quite interesting.

As they spend most of their time in the trees hanging from their legs, it is there that they fight with other males to get a female to mate with.

In these pre-mating fights, they use their front legs to strike each other roughly, and they also bite each other very hard. At the end of the fight, the winner has the right to mate with the female in heat.

Predators and Threats from this Rare Animal

This valuable animal is currently in danger of extinction, for several reasons, one of which is its natural predators.

Sometimes, when this bat goes to the rivers to drink water it can be captured by a crocodile that is on the lookout. This is why the crocodile is the main predator of this mammal. But it’s not the only one, as it’s also often the victim of snakes, eagles and other birds of prey.

Another important enemy is the human being who has destroyed the forest areas where the flying fox lives, taking away their home or their opportunities to get food.