Wild Animals/bat identification

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Question
brown bat
brown bat  

dark bat
dark bat  
Could you identify a bat by just looking the picture?  Those bats live in mangrove area by hanging upside down on the tree's branches. One had a light brown colour while the other was dark black.

Answer
Dear Ina,

These are both Flying Foxes, which are ecologically valuable fruit bats.  They act as pollinators and seed dispersers, and are vital to forest ecosystems.  They are gentle and adorable.  :)

There are two genera of bats in this group, Pteropus and Acerodon.  You can read more about them here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pteropus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acerodon

Yours look more like Pteropus.  There are many species, and I can't tell which it might be from your pictures.  But you can see a list of species at the article above and link to pictures of each one, if you want to know more about them.

Many species of Flying Fox are now threatened with extinction.  It's very lovely that you have them in a place where you can observe them without disturbing them.  Enjoy them!  :)

Dana

Wild Animals

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

I.D. OF MYSTERY ANIMALS
Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

I.D. OF MYSTERY ANIMAL SOUNDS
It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

COMPARATIVE STRENGTHS
I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

FIGHTING ANIMALS
I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.

Experience

I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

Organizations
House Rabbit Society

Publications
Exotic DVM journal

Education/Credentials
I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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