Malaysian Flying Fox Facts
- The rather remarkable Malaysian Flying Fox represents a species of megabat endemic to Southeast Asia. It also remains one of the largest known species of bat on earth.
- Like all fruit bats from the Old World, this impressive creature rather surprisingly lacks the ability to echolocate like other bats.
- However, given its great size, it remains encouraging to note that this astonishing species has an entirely herbivorous diet. Otherwise, its great size could pose a threat to livestock.
- But, its numbers appear to be diminishing rapidly. Currently, the IUCN lists the animal as Near Threatened. Climate change and habitat loss pose the greatest threats to its existence.
Malaysian Flying Fox Physical Description
The impressive Malaysian Flying Fox represents one of the largest known species of bat on earth. It develops an average wingspan measuring as much as 5 ft (1.5 m).
This rather remarkable animal also weighs an average of 2.4 lb (1.2 kg). It remains slow in flight but is renowned for being highly maneuverable.
It also possesses a fox-like face, which serves as the origin of the common name. Much of the body has a covering of long, thick fur. This generally displays a reddish-brown color.
It displays a slight degree of sexual dimorphism. The fur of the males generally tends to be longer and thicker than that of the female.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Chiroptera
- Family: Pteopodidae
- Genus: Pteropus
- Species: P. vampyrus
Malaysian Flying Fox Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Malaysian Flying Fox habitat ranges from the Malay Peninsula to the Philippines, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, and Timor. It also appears at elevations of as much as 4,490 ft (1,370 m).
Though it prefers the higher elevations, it also appears to be rather adaptable. In some portions of its habitat range, it even lives along coastlines.
However, it most commonly lives in mangrove forest, primary forests, coconut groves, and fruit orchards. The groupings in mangrove forest usually remain smaller than those in other areas.
This fascinating mammal often lives in extremely large colonies. Some colonies have been known to number as many as 20,000 individuals.
It feeds exclusively on flowers, nectar, and fruits.