Definitions

straw color

Straw-coloured Fruit Bat

The straw colored fruit bat (Eidolon hevlum) is the most widely distributed of all the African fruit bats. It is quite common throughout its area ranging from southwestern Arabian Peninsula, forest and savanna zones of Africa (south of the Sahara) and to the offshore island of Madagascar . These bats are very abundant, and they are not endangered nor threatened because they travel in massive colonies of at least 100,000 and sometimes massing to 1 million. Their neck and back are a yellowish- brown color, while their underside is tawny olive or brownish. This is one of the larger species of fruit bats.

Appearance

The straw colored fruit bat got their name from the silky yellowish or straw color of their exterior, the color of the wings are black, and the back hair is pale and somewhat tawny. Males are generally bright orange, compared to the females which are usually silky yellowish.. They have huge cheeks, eyes, and ears. The average weight of these bats is ranged from eight to twelve ounces and grows to 5.7 to 9 inches in length. It could have wings span up to 30 inches; though females are generally larger than males. Further details goes into the anatomy of the bat. The bats heart is very large, and it's wings are long and tip tapered. The cheeks of the bat are also large like little pouches.

Taxonomy

The taxonomy of E. hevlum (Straw Colored Fruit Bat) are bats from the family Pteropodidae in the order of Chiroptera.

Lifestyle

The Straw Colored Fruit bat is a highly social species. They tend to live in groups of over 100,000 and at times that number may increase to almost one million. In the nighttime, the colony leaves the roost in smaller groups to find any food which is in forests near to their environment or any plantations that also may be near.

They find food by sight and smell and also have been seen chewing on soft wood for the moisture. These bats can also pollinate and disperse seeds among the forests, and although they feed at night, it does not mean that they are nocturnal. During the day, they will be found resting moving along the colony. Year to year, season to season, the bats will be using the same place that they found food the previous year or season.

The only problem with these animals is that since they live in large colonies, they have a tendency to ruin crops and be a pest to farms. Although they do bother farms, biologists are not clear yet whether their advantages of being pollinators and seed dispersers evens out the damage they do to crops every season.

Diet

The diet of the Straw Colored Fruit Bats very depending on whether they are domesticated in zoos, or out in the wild. Non domesticated bats (not in the zoo) usually eat bark, flowers, leaves, nectar and fruits. In Zoos, they are fed various bat mix, apples, oranges, bananas, grapes and cantaloupe. In some zoos they are also fed a marmoset diet and vegetables.

Origin

Eidolon helvum is the most widely distributed fruit bat in Africa, and perhaps the world. It appears mainly in Africa, mostly among the sub-saharan climates, and in many forest and savanna zones, around the southwestern Arabian peninsula, and also found in Madagascar. Specifically the bats are mainly found in tropical forests, but also found in urban areas where human activity does not seem to disturb it. The savannas is also another key area where the fruit bat is also found. It has been found at a max altitude of 6,562 ft (2,000 m). It prefers tall trees for roosts. And country wise, it is found mainly around south of Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique is used usually for migration purposes.

References

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