The enormous golden-crowned bat, which soars through the air spread-eagled with wings almost as wide as Tom Cruise, looks dreadful because its lean, hairy body draws attention to how large its wings are. Moreover, when it is roosting, its slinky black cape gives off the impression that it is a vampire.
The fruit-eating megabat is a member of a species that is exclusive to the Philippines, and despite its enormous size, it is harmless and does not appear to attack humans. They are an endangered species because people destroy their habitat and hunt them for sport or food without a license.
Viral images of these defenseless, endangered creatures fascinated and frightened people who were astounded by their size and predatory appearance.
When the first pictures circulated online, they were initially referred to as “human-sized” bats, but this inaccurate description caused confusion and panic.
Before learning more about these peculiar creatures, there are a few points that need to be clarified. Firstly, unless you use a very generous definition and compare them to a “small child” rather than an average adult human, they are not “human-sized.”.
Remember when I told y'all about the Philippines having human-sized bats? Yeah, this was what I was talking about pic.twitter.com/nTVIMzidbC
— hatdog² (@AlexJoestar622) June 24, 2020
Remember how I told you about the human-sized bats in the Philippines? Well, this is what I was referring to.—hatdog2 (@AlexJoestar622) June 24, 2020.
One of the biggest species of bats in the world, the enormous golden-crowned bat has a wingspan of about 5 feet 6 inches, a body that can be anywhere between 7 and 11 points 4 inches long, weighs less than 3 pounds.
The fig-loving bat is a nocturnal herbivore that forages for roots, fruits, and vegetables at night. A voluminous golden crown is draped over its head.
The golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) is only found in the jungles of the Philippines; other species of flying fox megabats can be found in Asia, Africa, and Australia. These colonies can number up to 10,000 individuals.
Along with a few of its friends, it spends the day dozing while perched from its clawed toes in the trees. The enormous flying fox, which has a wingspan of under five feet, occasionally slept with its smaller cousins, the giant bats.
Instead of using echolocation like many other bats do to navigate through the air, Giant Golden-crowned Flying Foxes rely on their senses of sight and smell.
In addition to relentlessly battling deforestation, the flying fox helps to reforest the Philippines by dispersing fig seeds after it feeds.
Sadly, the more damage humans cause, the harder the bats are working.
According to Bat Conservation International (BCI), the species has disappeared from many of its former roosting locations on many islands, and more than 90% of the old-growth forests in the Philippines have been destroyed.
Since a 50% reduction in 1986, the population of golden-crowned bats has been rapidly declining. The destruction of its natural habitat and hunting for sport, trade, and personal consumption are blamed for this decline. Given that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the species as endangered.
Bats are protected by the Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001, but the law is not followed.
Even though the majority of the animals’ roosts are in protected areas, they are still mass-killed. It is an appalling and brutal practice for hunters to shoot at roosting animals. Numerous dead animals with injured toes still holding onto the branch prevent them from falling.
Despite the fact that humans are a serious threat to the bat population, flying foxes are not frightened of people. They frequently hang out in populated areas where they feel at ease, such as forests close to cities or towns, perched atop utility poles, or just loitering. However, they are able to distinguish between safe and unsafe environments and will roost and move to inhospitable locations, such as slopes higher than 1,000 feet above sea level.
Studies show that these bats have intelligence comparable to dogs and are also extremely quick learners with a high capacity for memory.
Flying fox bats raised by humans were successfully taught to pull levers in exchange for juice rewards, according to a study on operant conditioning.
More significantly, the bats removed the levers right away when they came back to the cozy experimental chamber three and a half years later because they knew they would be rewarded.
The unique physical traits of bats may disturb or frighten some people. You might be frightened or uneasy by their enormous eyes, pointed teeth, and leathery wings.
There are 1,300 different species of bats, but only three of them are known to ingest human blood, despite their unfavorable reputation as murderous creatures. If you can look past your horror at how creepy the golden-crowned flying foxes are, they are cute!
I find it very upsetting that these intelligent, innocent creatures are being butchered and that deforestation is causing them to lose their habitat. If you agree, please let others know about this kind, threatened species!