Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A "Day Time" Bat


While most people tend to think of bats as being strictly nocturnal -- and they would be right -- there is a chance to see a very cute little bat during the daylight hours. You'd have to be strolling along a quiet river or slow-moving creek -- Chan Chich Creek is perfect -- and watch for what appears to be a group of moths taking wing ahead of you, fluttering along the water course.

That would be a family group of long-nosed bats (Rhynchonycteris naso; pictured above). They prefer roosting on the undersides of an overhanging branch or rock formations lining river banks. These family groups are in reality harems with one male and several females that can number up to 11 individuals. This is another tiny bat, weighing about the same as a US 5-cent coin. Given its size, it is understandable that its food preferences are likewise minuscule and include midges, mosquitoes, caddis flies, and tiny beetles.

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