Week 10: Flying Fox bat

What kind of animal does this look like? Where does it live?

What do they eat? Where do they find their food?

Bonus question: How did the museum acquire this creature?

Flying Fox bat

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Answers:

What kind of animal does this look like? Where does it live?

This animal belongs to a group of bats called the Flying Foxes. They are called that because their small ears and large eyes make them look more like a fox than like other bats — but they're still bats. Flying Foxes are the largest bats in the world. This particular bat comes from the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific.

What do they eat? Where do they find their food?

Flying Foxes usually live high in the canopy of tropical forests. They are herbivores, and only eat fruit, nectar, blossoms, and pollen.

Bonus question: How did the museum acquire this creature?

When Warner and Ella Karshner were vacationing in the Tonga Islands in 1935, they saw a bat sitting in a palm tree. They became curious and wanted to see it fly, so Ella, a talented whistler, tried whistling for it. But it didn't wake up. Doctor Karshner saw a coconut lying on the ground, and tried to hurl it near the bat to startle it, but he accidentally struck it and it fell out of the tree dead. Fortunately he had a vial of formaldehyde in his pocket, and was able to preserve the bat, which now has a home at the Karshner Museum.