Egyptian Fruit Bat
The Egyptian Fruit Bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus), also known as the Egyptian Rousette, is a species of Old World fruit bat found throughout Africa, except in the desert regions of the Sahara. It is also common throughout the Middle East, as far east as Pakistan and northern India. Like all bats, these ones are nocturnal and spend the daylight hours in caves or trees, often with large numbers of other bats, sometimes numbering in the thousands.
The Egyptian Fruit Bat is small compared to others in their species. They have a wingspan of about 23.6 inches and a body length of 5.9 inches. They weigh about 5.65 ounces. Males are generally larger than the females and can be distinguished easily by their large scrotal sack. They are light brown in color, with darker wings. They have large pointed ears, dark eyes, and a long dog-like muzzle. Their fur is very soft, and their wings feel somewhat like pantyhose.
Egyptian fruit bats are frugivorous, consuming large amounts of fruit each night. Wild dates tend to be a favorite, but they will consume almost any soft, pulpy fruit. They emerge from the roost to forage for food in the late evening, and return just before dawn. They hang upside down, with their wings folded closely around their body.
Maturity is reached at about 9 months of age. Females typically give birth to only a single baby each year, but twins are occasionally born, after a gestation period of around 115-120 days. The young are carried by the female until they able to hang from the roost on their own (after about six weeks), then they are left in the roost while the mother forages for food. Once the baby bat can fly, at about three months of age, it will leave the roost on its own to hunt for its own food. Offspring typically stay with the same colony as the parents for their entire lives.