Friday, February 11, 2011

And the highlight for me (Giselle) was the Honduran White Bat. Three to be precise. They roost under large leaves, which they perforate along both sides of the stalk in order to make a tent, and therefore be hidden from predators.

 Honduran White Bat (c) Giselle Eagle

Leaf adapted into a tent, under which the three bats were clinging. (c) Richard Brown

The Honduran White Bat only roosts in leaf-tents, and is one of the few species of bat to adapt its surroundings in order to roost. They are frugivorous, and their white fur is cryptic under the folded leaf, reflecting the green light passing through the leaf, and rendering them virtually invisible to predators. To make matters even cuter, they are about the size of a cotton wool ball, and have yellow-ish ears and nose. 
There are approximately 110 known species of bat in Costa Rica, of which we only saw (or were able to identify) 4 species. For such a small country, this is a mega number and they have a fantastic inextricable relationship with the forest ecosystem, being the sole pollinators of many flower and tree species, and of course acting as a natural insect control!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had an excellent trip. Look forward to seeing more of your photos!
    I am enjoying your interesting Blog