Portraits - Merlin Tuttle's Bat Conservation

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This portrait of an adult, post-lactating female Greater short-nosed fruit bat (Cynopterus sphinx) shows the breast of a recently nursing mother and the distinctive white-edged ears typical of this genus. Though still brightly colored, it lacks the distinctly bright orange collar of adult males. Females of this species are apparently attracted to the cut-leaf "tents" made by males, forming groups according to tent attractiveness. The leaves of fan palms are often chosen to form "tents." These bats are highly adaptable, living in a wide variety of habitats where they feed on fruit and nectar. They are major pollinators and seed dispersers for many of Southeast Asia's most economically important plants, for example pollinating wild bananas, durian and petai. Portraits

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