Egyptian Fruit Bats

Scientific Name
Rousettus Agyptiacus

Feeding Type
Herbivorous

Range
Turkey and Cyprus to Pakistan, Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and most of Africa

Habitat
A variety of habitat, from lowlands to mountains but determining factors are the presence of fruit and flowers and caves for roosting.

Diet in the Wild
Fruits

Diet at the Zoo
Chopped fruit and fruit bat supplement, fruit juice

Longevity
A record of 22 years in captivity

Description
Fruit bats have grayish-brown coats with a lighter shade on the ventral side (stomach.) They have short, strong jaws and a wingspan of about 24 inches. Measuring between 4 to 7 inches in length, these true flying mammals weigh up to 6 ounces. The wings are a skin membrane and held together by a finger like extension. The eyes are large and ears stand erect. Males are noticeably larger than the females.

Adaptation/Behavior
Bats are nocturnal, and they find their way in the dark using high-pitched sounds, a process called echolocation. It is also common that these bats roost close together, often making body contact, especially with their young. Fruit bats are known to fly about 25 miles from roosting site in search of food.

Courtship/Breeding
These bats usually have only one baby each year, however sometimes twins may occur. Gestation is about 15 weeks. The mother bats carry their young at first, then leave them at the roosts while they search for fruit. Babies are about 3 months old before they learn to fly on their own. Young ones stay in the same colony as their parents for most, if not all, of their lives.

Conservation
These bats are fairly common but their numbers could be at risk due to habitat destruction.


Interesting Facts

  • Bats are the only true flying mammals.
  • Some cultures consume bats as a delicacy.
  • Bats are great pollinators of fruit trees.

Our Animals

  •  We have an all male group
  • The light cycle in our exhibit is reversed, allowing the bats to be active during opening hours.