Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat Facts
- Firstly, the quite fascinating small Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat proves size remains irrelevant. It also currently officially ranks as the fifth rarest creature on earth.
- Bats of all kinds classify as mammals of the family Chiroptera. These remarkable creatures remain the only known mammals capable of true flight.
- Its common name derives from the presence of a small membrane extending between the hind legs that can be placed over the tail.
- Sadly, this interesting species now only inhabits a severely restricted habitat range. This makes the animal extremely vulnerable.
- The greatest threats to its continued existence as a species appear to be continued loss of habitat to the planting of coconut plantations, as well as the presence of invasive species.
- Experts place its numbers at fewer than 100 remaining individuals. The IUCN appropriately currently lists the harassed creature as Critically Endangered.
The Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Physical Description
Firstly, the extremely rare and threatened Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat evolved as a rather diminutive member of its order. An average head and body length totals between (2.1 – 2.5 in) 55 – 65 mm.
Also, a slight degree of sexual dimorphism occurs in the species, in regards to weight. Males typically weigh about 10% lighter than the slightly thick-bodied females.
In coloring, a deep reddish-brown to black also predominates on the wings and back of the body. However, the underside of the body generally presents shades of gray or lighter shades of brown.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Chiroptera
- Family: Emballonuridae
- Genus: Coleura
- Species: C. seychellensis
Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Perhaps it also once throve in great numbers in the region, but it now exists only in a few locations. This species also generally roosts in small caves and the cracks and crevices of rock faces.
In addition, unlike many types of bats, which typically roost in enormous groupings, it forms harem colonies generally comprising 1 or 2 males and multiple females.
Like many endangered animal species, the principal culprit in its population decline is also habitat deterioration due to the influx of non-native plant species.
Further, many of the native insect species cannot feed upon these invasive species of plants, and their own numbers have therefore greatly decreased.
This, in turn, has the obvious effect of significantly reducing the available food source for the bats, since the species has an entirely insectivorous diet.