Egyptian fruit bat

Egyptian fruit bat

Rousettus aegyptiacus

Conservation status: IUCN – LC (Least concern).

Geographic range: The Egyptian fruit bat is found throughout Africa south of the Sahara and in North Africa. Also in Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Cyprus. 

Physical description: Males are larger than females and they weigh from 80 to 170 g. Ventral pelage in both genders is several shades lighter than dorsal colouration, with a collar of pale yellow or orange fur often seen around the neck. There is no colour difference between genders; however, males have well-developed stiff hairs along the throat. Egyptian fruit bats have large eyes adapted for twilight and night vision. At the end of their wings, they have one long bent nail which helps to keep upside down and climb. The hind legs have five fingers with nails. 

Biology: Egyptian fruit bats typically live in colonies of 20 to 40 individuals but large colonies can contain up to 9000 individuals. Individuals of a colony prefer to roost close together to conserve their warmth and they usually do so during the day in dark, slightly humid environments such as cave systems and ruins. However, due to their eating habits, they can also be active during the day time. They use both visual orientation and echolocation and young are taken care of by their mothers until 9 months of age. Pups learn how to fly 63-70 days after they are born but they still keep holding onto their mothers until they reach adult size and weight.  

Lifespan: In the wild 8-10 years, in captivity up to 22 years.

Food habits: Many different types of fruit.

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