Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat or Bumblebee Bat
Scientific Name: Craseonycteris thonglongyai
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Also called the Bumble Bat, the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat is quite interesting. Due to the extremely small size they are often overlooked. This isn’t a scary bat in the eyes of most people due to that small size. They are the smallest of more than 1,100 specie of bats found around the world. They are also one of the smallest mammals on Earth.
You will have to look closely to see a Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat because they are only about 1 inch long. They only weigh .25 of an ounce! They have a snout that resembles that of a hog and that is where their name comes from. They have a tail that is very hard to see so many people assume they don’t have one at all. They have ears that seem too large for their small bodies.
This particular species of bat isn’t black in color like most. Instead, it can be gray, reddish, or brown. They are very intriguing creatures if you get the chance to see one up close.
In spite of the fact that they have such a small body, the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat is able to fly without any problems. Experts have done a great deal of research about this as they are fascinated by it. The long wings help to keep it balanced due to them not having much of a tail. They also rely on their strong legs to help them stay balanced.
They are the only species of bat known to have a type of locking mechanism for their tendons on the feet. This allows them to curl their toes to roost and have sharp claws that hold them in place. The format of their anatomy means they can roost without using energy to do so.
Like so many other species of bats, the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat use echolocation to help them find prey and for navigational purposes. Even though they are active at night they send out calls and listen for echoes. What comes back to them lets them map out their surroundings and to find food to eat.
It is very difficult to determine what the evolution process has been for the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat. They are very different overall from other species of bats. However, you can identify behaviors and physical characteristics that they have which are similar to those of other species. Therefore it is speculated that they branched off from one of them long ago.
There has never been any fossil remains found of the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat but scientists are hopeful that they will one day find some. Then they can have some insight to what these bats were all about millions of years ago.
Kitti's Hog-Nosed Video
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There are some interesting behaviors of the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat that have been identified. For example they usually have very small roosts – from 10 to 100 members. They also spread out in that roost instead of resting side by side. They may not need the body heat from each other. However, studies show that bats roost close to each other for security too. It is puzzling to experts why the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat doesn’t feel the need to do so.
The discover of the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat in the 1970’s is one that many people were excited about. Even though they still want to study them it can be hard to do so without disrupting their natural environment. As a result there is a great deal we don’t know about how they survive, especially in their roosts.
Diet and Feeding Habits
The water makes it possible for the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat to find food easily. They often fly over the water and consume flies. They are also known to eat lots of spiders. In the winter there are less flies available so they rely more on the spiders found there. They will eat when they are still flying around most of the time. They can be found stopping occasionally but that isn’t’ the normal pattern of hunting for them.
They use their teeth and their tails to help them get their prey while they are moving along. Since they are still in flight and it is dark out, they have the element of surprise on their side when it comes to being able to successfully get the prey they are after.
Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat Video
We know very little about the mating process for the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat. We do know that they mate at the end of the winter and have young born in the springtime. Each female will have only one offspring, at is it extremely small. They are able to use their powerful claws to latch on to the mother’s waist. This allows them to stay attached when she roosts and when she flies.
Once they are able to develop wings for flying they will stop drinking milk from her. Then they will have to find their own sources of food. They may stay with that colony if it is small in size. If it is large many of the young offspring may venture to create their own new colony.
Since these bats have a slow rate of reproduction it is hard for them to increase in numbers. The fact that so many mothers as well as their young attached to them are consumed by predators also means that there is a high mortality rate for the young.
The small size of these bats makes them prime targets for predators. There are many types of birds out there that will feed on many of them at one time as they emerge from the roost. When the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat is in the trees they can end up being prey for snakes or squirrels.
There is a fascination with this type of bat from humans, and that is why people try to capture them. They can’t provide the right environment though for the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat so they will die. Sometimes humans touch these bats or contribute to fungus and bacteria in their environment. As a result they aren’t able to survive and those health concerns can quickly spread through the entire roost.
The use of chemicals to keep pests such as spiders and flies away from various locations also are a problem. When humans spray them there is residue that the Kitti's Hog-Nosed Bat ingest. With their small size it doesn’t take much of these harsh chemicals to kill them.