Flying Fox Fruit Bat A real place loved by C. S. Lewis Photo by Zen Northern Territory, Australia Photo by Shellac Coming in at least 60 species, Pteropus, also known as “fruit bat” or “Flying Fox,” flies in Australia, in Papua New Guinea, in Indonesia, and in various islands in and around the Indian Ocean. Unlike the pterosaur, the bat has an arm that radiates the finger-like structures from the leading edge of the wing. In the fruit bat, Pteropus, often no tail is visible, for it is small. Unlike the Microbats, this bat does not have echolocation*. It relies instead on smell and on its eyes. Most Megabats feed on fruit; but megachiropteran nectarivores (those that feed on nectar) are the exception. Fruit Bats, in general, hang upside down when at rest. In some colonies, great numbers of Flying Foxes can make the upper branches of some trees a wild place where the bats compete for space to rest. Do not confuse this bat with the ropen of some parts of Papua New Guinea. The ropen has a long tail and is much larger than any bat. *An exception: the Egyptian Fruit Bat, which does use a form of echolocation. Megabats The Flying Fox Fruit Bat is not to be confused with the larger flying creature called “ropen” on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea. This apparent pterosaur has a long tail, described by eyewitness Duane Hodgkinson as “at least ten or fifteen feet long.” In addition, the ropen is reported to glow with what investigators believe is a bioluminescence, which it may use to navigate among trees at night and to catch fish or other food it finds on reefs around Umboi Island. The ropen appears to be a living pterosaur. © Jonathan Whitcomb 2011 Sketch by Eskin Kuhn Sighting in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1971 This may be related to the ropen of PNG