Wadduwa, Western Sri Lanka...
Youíre lying under the sun, on a beach looking the Indian Ocean. There is a mild breeze sweeping your body. Complete peacefulness. You open your eyes and when you look at the palm trees above you, you see a giant bat flying !!!
After the first shock, you realize thatís a very common phenemenon there, and you start to get accustomed to them.
Locals tie big ropes between the palm trees, and an athletic man climbs up on them each day, goes from one tree to another, cutting coconuts and extracting its nectar. This process creates an opportunity for fruit bats which visit fruits and plants to lick their nectar.
Megabats, called also fruit bats or flying foxes, are, contrary to what their name suggest, are not always large: the smallest species is 6 centimetres long while the largest reach 40 centimetres in length and attain a wingspan of 150 centimetres, weighing in at nearly 1 kilogram. Most fruit bats have large eyes, allowing them to orient visually in the twilight of dusk and inside caves and forests.
Their sense of smell is excellent. In contrast to the microbats, the fruit bats do not use echolocation.
Fruit bats are frugivorous or nectarivorous, i.e., they eat fruits or lick nectar from flowers. Often the fruits are crushed and only the juices consumed. The teeth are adapted to bite through hard fruit skins.
Frugivorous bats aid the distribution of plants (and therefore, forests) by carrying the fruits with them and spitting the seeds or eliminating them elsewhere. Nectarivores actually pollinate visited plants. They bear long tongues that are inserted deep into the flower; pollen thereby passed to the bat is then transported to the next blossom visited, pollinating it. This relationship between plants and bats is a form of mutualism known as chiropterophily.
The locals told us that the chants we heard at night were actually coming from bats. Seemingly, when they drink too much from the nectar which had become alcoholized, they fall from the top of the trees, as high as 12m, to the ground. :-)
Source: Fruit bats
Cropped, increased sharpness & brightness.
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Waylim (22467) 2011-09-13 23:21
Wow, really wonderful catch here. Okay, I don't get it, I know that TE are very much landscape lover type of people but, don't they feel even a little carious about this guy? He look like a dog with wind. A flying dog :) Even the way he lick the leave. I would be kind of scare at first, unless I know he is not harm. Very nice shto with good details even against the bright sky. Anyway, never seen anything like it before.
- Copyright: Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) (3851)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-10-22
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/160 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2011-09-12 23:32