October 16, 2018
Hammer-headed Bat Family
- as seen by -Sarah H. Olson
This female hammer-headed fruit bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus) makes commuting with her pup look so easy. The pup clings on by nursing and grasping tight with both feet and thumb claws.
This photo captures one of the larger pups we’ve ever seen practically Velcroed to mom. When she departs the roost to take flight, her wings extend nearly three feet in length (about a meter) from tip to tip. Of course, I’m anxious for her and the pup but she knows the routine by heart. She searches and finds lift that comes with each powerful stroke, altering an initial downward trajectory into one that elevates her into the dark canopy. Her flight path is littered with branches and liana vines but she gracefully avoids these obstacles.
Once they are out of sight, I can finally exhale. I’m left with amazement and incredibly humbled by this brown-eyed flying wonder and her baby.