3 Animals And Their Adaptations In The Tropical Rainforest The Primary Distinctions Between Megabats and Microbats

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The Primary Distinctions Between Megabats and Microbats

Did you know that there are two main types of bats in the world? It’s true! All bats can be put into one of two categories: Microchiroptera or Megachiroptera. These are known in writing as “megabats” and “microbats.” Continue reading to learn the main differences and differences between them, including their appearance, diet, habitat, and more!

Microbats

Microchiroptera, or microbats, are small in size and have large ears. Most are between 3 and 16 inches in length, and many are small enough to fit through a gap as small as 3/8th of an inch. They are tracking mammals, meaning they use a built-in, biological sonar system, which emits ultrasonic sounds that bounce off nearby objects and return to the bat. Micros are not blind, but the echo helps them to shoot and dive for prey more accurately at night.

As for food, micros are primarily insects; but some of the larger species are small fish, rodents, birds, and amphibians. Three species in particular feed on the blood of other animals, especially cattle and birds. These include common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus), hairy-legged vampire bats (Diphylla ecaudata), and white-skinned vampire bats. But don’t worry; they will drink human blood!

When it comes to habitat, microbats live in moderate temperatures, and usually live in hollow trees, abandoned mines, caves, and even in residences and commercial buildings. (even the attics!).

Megabats

Megachiroptera are very large in size, and are also known as “Flying Foxes”, “Fruit Bats”, and “Old World Fruit Bats.” This is mainly due to fruit-based foods and sweet foods, which mainly consist of fruit, nectar, and pollen. Some species are known to eat some insects, but their diet is mainly nectar and pollen of fruits and flowers. Because of this, the lower order of bats does not use or retain echo capabilities. They do, however, have a sense of smell that helps them find food sources, as well as, sharp teeth that are strong enough to bite through fruit.

As for appearance, it is easy to distinguish a mega from a micro. Not only do fruit bats have large eyes and visual cortexes, they also don’t have a tail. However, Microbats do not have the claw on the second toe of the forelimb that megabats have. Megabats live in warm, tropical, and subtropical regions of the world. You are likely to find wild fruit bats living in the forests of the US Midwest. They like warm, moist, humid environments, such as rainforests and beaches, and live in trees, forests, and caves.

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