Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat Facts
- Firstly, the quite fascinating small Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat elegantly proves that physical size remains irrelevant. The amazing animal also currently officially ranks as the fifth rarest creature on earth. Furthermore, bats of all kinds classify as mammals placed within the Family Chiroptera.
- These truly remarkable creatures still remain the only known mammals capable of true flight. Its common name also derives from a particularly unique physical characteristic of the species. That’s because of the remarkable presence of a small membrane extending between the hind legs that can be placed over the tail.
- Sadly, this extremely interesting species now only inhabits a severely restricted habitat range. This lamentable statistic makes the fascinating animal extremely vulnerable. The greatest threats to the continued existence of the Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat as a species appear to be comprised of three factors.
- First comes continued loss of habitat to the planting of coconut plantations. Second is as the presence of invasive species. Third, however, would be climate change. Experts place its numbers at fewer than 100 remaining individuals. The IUCN appropriately currently lists the harassed creature as Critically Endangered.
Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat Physical Description
Firstly, the extremely rare and threatened Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat stands out for reasons other than sheer size. That holds true because the animal evolved as a comparatively diminutive member of its order. In point of fact, an average head and body length or this species actually only totals between 2.1 – 2.5 in (55 – 65 mm).
However, this tiny mammal does share one particular characteristic with related species. This occurs given that fact that it displays a slight degree of the physiological trait of sexual dimorphism. In its case, though, this occurs in the species in regards to weight. Males typically weigh about 10% less than the slightly thick-bodied females.
In coloring, the fantastic Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat displays a relatively dramatic pattern. This pattern principally consists of a deep reddish-brown to almost black, that 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
The seriously imperiled Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat now exists only in a tiny range of the world. More precisely, this consists of the Seychelles Islands, north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, near Africa. Perhaps it also once existed 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, it differs from most types of bats, which typically roost in enormous groupings. Instead, this animal forms harem colonies. These generally comprise a total of only 1 or 2 males, with multiple females. Quite sadly, even more than most other endangered species, it appears to be especially vulnerable to habitat deterioration due to the influx of non-native plant species.
That’s because many of the native insect species cannot feed upon these invasive species of plants. Therefore, their own numbers have understandably greatly decreased. This, in turn, has the obvious effect of significantly reducing the available food source for the Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat. But this affects it more than others since the species has an entirely insectivorous diet.