Facts about the fruit bat

   Fruit bat is general term for all members of the suborder Megachiroptera which contains forty gen­era. They are characterized by the simple rounded ear without tragus, the tail, when present, not connected with the tail membrane, a'claw on the second finger (absent in three genera) and the flattened teeth.
   Fruit bats are found in Africa, the Pacific islands, East Indies, Philippines, India, and Aus­tralia. They are eaten by the natives in many places. They range in size from the small pollen-eating Macroglossus which are about 2½ inches long to the large flying foxes of Asia (Pteropus and Acerodon) some of which are 14 inches long and have a wingspread of nearly six feet. They feed on pollen, ripe fruit, green coconuts, and dates. In only a few places do they do serious damage to commercial fruits and coconuts.
   Fruit bats have a limited migration as they must follow the ripening fruit season. The fruit itself is not eaten, but crushed by the heavy cheek teeth and the juices only are swallowed. The flying foxes often form roosts of many thousands while some African fruit bats are solitary.