Meet the hammer-headed bat, the flying mammal with the head of a puppy

You may disagree, but these are some of the world’s prettiest bats! Most bats have rodent-like faces, but the hammer-headed bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus) is in a class by itself. The strange-looking flying animal has a hyper elongated face that has many people who view photos of it on social media questioning its very existence.

Despite its outsized look, the hammer-headed bat is a real animal. The hammer-headed bat, also known as the hammer-headed fruit bat and the big-lipped bat, is a megabat species found in Central African tropical woods.

It favors lowland wet woods, riverine forests, and swamp forests, as well as mangrove and palm forests, where it roosts on trees. The hammerhead bat is Africa’s biggest bat, with a wingspan of up to 38 inches (97 cm).

However, its typical body length is a considerably more modest 10 inches (25 cm). Males are much bigger than females. In reality, it is the males that have the huge head with larger rostrum, larynx, and lips that distinguish the species, whereas the females resemble other fruit bats.

Unlike other bat species that segregate based on s.e.x, male and female hammer-headed bats will congregate in groups ranging from four to twenty-five. Males and females have various foraging methods, with females trap-lining, which involves traveling an established path with reliable food sources, even if the food is of inferior quality. Males take a much riskier approach, traveling up to 6 miles (10 kilometers) in pursuit of particularly good food patches.

When the bats locate food they like, they may nibble on the tree for a while before collecting some fruit and transporting it to another location for eating. Their ᴍᴀᴛɪɴɢ season lasts anywhere from one to three months.

These b ats show traditional lek ᴍᴀᴛɪɴɢ, which means that a large number of male suitors would assemble at a location and participate in competitive displays and courtship rituals known as lekking to seduce visiting females. Males generate an unusual calling sound to entice females who are on the lookout for potential mates.


“I’m simply awestruck by hammer-headed fruit bats (Hypsignathus monstrosus). Close-up any given feature, eye, fur, nose, ear, wing, or foot, is extraordinary. In hand, whiskers appear in patterns seemingly unique to each individual, and the nasal and lip folds of the adult males, like the one shown, provide a sculptural finish to the overall moose-head look.

As we handle them to collect samples, they show distinct behaviors ranging from docile to teeth masher, hence the thick leather gloves. Functionally, as the largest fruit bats in Africa (males weigh in around one pound), they are flying seed dispersal machines, critical to equatorial forest health,” wrote Sarah Olson, an associate director of wildlife health at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in a 2018 blog post.

Olson and colleagues have been researching these secretive bats for several years in order to gain a better understanding of their ecology and behavior. With the pandemic’s devastation still vivid in everyone’s consciousness, this may be extremely significant in the future as well.

The hammer-headed bat is one of three African fruit bat species that can get asymptomatically ɪɴfᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ with the .d.e.a.dly Eʙᴏʟᴀ ᴠ.ɪ.ʀ.ᴜ.s, however, scientists have yet to determine whether the species is an accidental host or a viral reservoir.

“In addition to enᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀing human health, this ʟᴇᴛʜᴀʟ ᴠɪʀᴜs has been connected to large decreases in populations of western lowland gorillas in Congo and Gabon.” “As scientists, our duty is to discover a strategy to avoid Eʙᴏʟᴀ ᴇᴘɪᴅᴇᴍɪᴄs and help save these bats for future generations, one bat at a time,” Olson said.


Related Posts

Perdió sus 4 patas, la cola y las orejas, pero esta gatita tuvo una segunda oportunidad para ser feliz

En Siberia, Rusia, la época de invierno puede traer consigo fuertes heladas capaces de poner en riesgo la vida tanto de humanos como de animales. Esta es…

Mentirita, la perrita callejera que se convirtió en la trabajadora más mimada de una gasolinera en Argentina

¡Amigos y amigas amantes de las mascotas, prepárense para conocer a Mentirita, la perrita más encantadora de Argentina, en la región patagónica! Esta historia es de esas…

Perrita en Argentina se perdió en la provincia de Córdoba y apareció 24 horas después en la provincia de Jujuy

¡Increíble historia perruna que nos trae de cabeza! ¿Se acuerdan de Lola, la perrita que desapareció de forma misteriosa en Córdoba para aparecer horas más tarde en…

Gatita rescatada salvó a una ardilla en medio de una tormenta y demostró su gran corazón

Los gatos son animales conocidos por su independencia y su naturaleza solitaria. Sin embargo, muchos dueños de gatos han informado que sus mascotas pueden ser extremadamente amorosas…

Una gatita que inspira a todos: nació sin ojos, pero ello no le impidió ser feliz

La anoftalmia bilateral es una condición en la que un gato nace sin ojos o con ojos muy pequeños y poco funcionales. Esta condición puede ser congénita,…

El trabajo perfecto: Ofrecen un pago de 71,000 dólares anuales por cuidar a 2 gatos en Inglaterra

Las mascotas son un miembro más de la familia y para algunas familias adineradas, sus gatos son una parte importante de su vida y su hogar. Estas…