At a time when talking about bats began to decrease in the world after more than a year has passed since the spread of the new Corona virus, the name has returned strongly during the past hours with the spread of medical reports about a new epidemic called “Nipah”, the natural carrier of which is the fruit bats of the fox type.
In total, there are more than 1,300 species of bats spread across six continents, as they live anywhere in the world except for Arctic and Antarctica, making up about a fifth of the mammalian population on Earth, according to the global Bat Conservation Foundation.
And specifically about the natural carrier of the “Nipah” virus, discovered in 1999 during the outbreak in Malaysia, is the fruit bat of the flying fox type, and was known by the last name for the length of its nose, which resembles a fox’s nose, its soft fur and long tongue.
Information about fruit bats that cause Nipah virus
Fruit bats live in small groups that can consist of two or three bats, or large and gigantic groups that can number up to two thousand bats.
The fruit bat is the strongest in visual acuity among the types of bats, and its teeth are used to crush and eat fruit, and its length reaches 15 cm, and its wingspan reaches 60 cm, and weighs approximately 160 grams, and males are larger than females.
The “flying fox” bat lives in some parts of Africa, with the exception of the Sahara Desert, Turkey, Cyprus, the Sultanate of Oman, Yemen, eastern Pakistan in addition to northern India, as well as highs and lows that contain fruit, according to the Bat World website.
And about the diet of fruit bats, they are fruit juices, nectar of flowers, and wild palm fruits, and during obtaining nectar from various flowers, these bats carry pollen from one place to another, that is, they help pollinate many tropical rainforest trees.
Usually these bats give birth to only one child per year, but sometimes they have twins, and the mother bats carry their young at first, and then leave them in their hideout while they are looking for fruit.
Babies are about 3 months old before they learn to fly on their own, and youngsters remain in the same colony in which their mothers and fathers live most, if not all, of their lives.