Twilight at the Zoo

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Many bats use echolocation, but not all bats do. Fruit bats for example, use other senses to navigate.

— Scott Parish, Animal Keeper

Blind as a bat? Not necessarily. Many people assume that bats have poor eyesight, but some bats have excellent vision and a great sense of smell - this is the case for the bats at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, according to keeper Scott Parish.

bat

Bats are broken down into two suborders: the microbats and the megabats. They are different in size, habitat, diet, and more. The two species on the first floor of The RainForest are the Rodrigues fruit bat and straw-colored fruit bat, which are megabats. Instead of echolocation, these bats have large olfactory bulbs to process scents and have excellent vision to navigate. Their eyes are relatively large and positioned on the front of their heads, giving them binocular vision. These bat, also referred to as "flying foxes" play an important role in the ecosystem as seed dispersers and pollinators.

Watch this video to learn more about the bats in The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Zoo News 2.0: Bats at the Zoo

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