31 October - 6 November 2011
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Ghost Bat (Macroderma
gigas), Family Megadermatidae
Credit & Copyright:
Bruce G. Marcot, Ph.D.
Explanation: This week begins with Halloween, and what better excuse to present ... a ghost !
This is a ghost bat ... a furtive spectral form that dashes past your head in the dark of night.
This week we have staked out the entrance to the defunct Bamboo Creek Tin Mine, in a back corner of remote Litchfield National Park, which is situated in the "Top End" portion of Northern Territory, Australia.
This is one of the few colony sites of ghost bats. Well past dark, they start to move toward the mine tunnel entrance, and individually exit into the night like some stealth missiles.
We watched a number of bats not just emerge from the tunnel, but also dash back inside ... perhaps females with food for their young, or just returning to their cave feeding perch as they do.
Adults also eat geckos, frogs, and even small birds and small mammals, including other bats!
So, Happy Halloween ... from all the ghosts -- and vampires -- of the night ... !
Next week's picture: Forest Savanna of the Congo
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