Diurnal bats

The forest canopy of the Periyar Tiger Reserve is rich in fruit all year round and bats feel very much at home.  Out of the 119 species of bats found in India, 28 occur in Kerala. As many as six species of bat have been recorded in the Periyar :  the  flying fox, the shortnosed fruit bat,  the Great-Eastern horse-shoe bat, the Tickell’s bat, the Common yellow bat, and the Painted bat.

Bats usually roost in camps in the bamboo across the road from Cardamom County, hanging upside down all day and feeding on the abundant fruit in the area after sunset. However when I sighted this wide cloud of bats around midday on the rooftop of the restaurant, it got me wondering : what disturbed them during the day ?

According to a study of the University of Aberdeen, carried on British bats, three hypotheses may be advanced to explain the occurrence of daylight flying in bats. They may be emerging in the daytime to feed or to drink, if something disturbed them during their night-time hunt and they did not get enough. Or to avoid a threat within their roost, for example overheating, or a predator.

Which one was it for this camp of bats that summer day over the rooftop ? We’ll probably never know.

3 thoughts on “Diurnal bats

  1. Pingback: Fantastic Flying Foxes | Raxa Collective

  2. Pingback: Fruit Bats Can Echolocate With Wing-beats | Raxa Collective

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