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Hammer-headed Bat Ambassador

July 25, 2018

Hammer-headed Bat Ambassador

- as seen by -

Sarah H. Olson Sarah H. Olson

As a charismatic bat ambassador, this male hammer-headed fruit bat’s (Hypsignathus monstrosusearlier profile shot enthralled readers of this blog and social media alike. There is something about his Yoda-like ears, curvaceous lip folds, and glassy brown eyes that surprise and remind us that we have so much to learn about the world.

What a picture can’t capture are the rhythmic sounds of the males at the lek (recorded by ©Jack Bradbury from The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology), a site where they congregate and call to entice females to come and mate. It’s actually a bit like a tree-top swamp of croaking frogs generated by the male’s greatly enlarged larynx and vocal cords as well as distinctive air sacs, cheek pouches, and nasal folds.

We captured him the previous night, having our best netting success when the male bat choir is the loudest. We measured his morphometrics, collected swabs, and blood to analyze later for viruses, and observed him throughout the day for any adverse behavioral response to the customized collar-affixed GPS tracker that weighed less than 5% of his body mass. Moments after this shot, we released him and he methodically took flight using his three foot wingspan to fly into the crepuscular glow.


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Leave a Comment

5 comments

Jamie Trask
July 28, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Save all the Animals now and forever.

Laura
July 29, 2018 at 10:36 pm

I am very interested in learning more about these bats, I have never seen one before ! What else do you know about them?

Wild View Editor
August 2, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Hi Laura,

Thank you for your nice comment.

You can learn more about hammer-headed bats from a previous post, which you can find here – https://bit.ly/2ve5AFr. You can also stay tuned on Wild View for future hammer-headed bat posts from Sarah.

Marshall Stambovsky,M.D.
July 30, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.

Joyce
July 31, 2018 at 6:29 am

I am in love with bats. They are so fascinating. I am extremely interested in this particular species. Just AWESOME.