Megachiroptera Sensory Systems
Auditory, visual, and olfactory capacities of fruit bats.
The order Chiroptera (bats, “hand wing”) comprises over 1000 species, nearly 25% of all mammals. Traditionally, Chiroptera have been classified into two suborders, the Microchiroptera (microbats or echolocating bats) and the Megachiroptera (megabats or fruit bats). This classification has been reconsidered based on new phylogenetic data (Teeling et al. 2005). Bats in the family Pteropodidae (Old World fruit and nectar bats) are discussed in this entry. There are over 180 different species within this family, including the largest known bats, the flying foxes. Some flying foxes can weigh over 1 kg, with wingspans over 1.5 m. The pteropids inhabit Old World tropical forests, as well as grasslands and even desert areas in proximity to fruit or palm agriculture in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Indian subcontinent. They commonly are encountered in cities in these continents, where they roost in plain...
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