Bat pollination

Bat-pollinated flowers tend to be large and showy, white or light coloured, open at night and have strong odours. They are often large and bell-shaped. Bats drink the nectar, and these plants typically offer nectar for extended periods of time. Sight, smell, and echo-location are used to initially find the flowers, and excellent spatial memory is used to visit them repeatedly.[14] In fact, bats can identify nectar-producing flowers using echolocation.[14] In the New World, bat pollinated flowers often have sulfur-scented compounds, but this does not carry to other parts of the world.[15] Bat-pollinated plants have bigger pollen than their relatives.[16] Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera (pron.: /kar?pt?r?/; from the Greek - cheir, "hand"[2] and - pteron, "wing"[3]) whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, can only glide for short distances. Bats do not flap their entire forelimbs, as birds do, but instead flap their spread-out digits,[4] which are very long and covered with a thin membrane or patagium. Bats represent about 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide, with about 1,240 bat species divided into two suborders: the less specialized and largely fruit-eating megabats, or flying foxes, and the more highly specialized and echolocating microbats.[5] About 70% of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters. A few species, such as the fish-eating bat, feed from animals other than insects, with the vampire bats being the only paras

tic mammalian species. Bats are present throughout most of the world, performing vital ecological roles of pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds. Many tropical plant species depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds. Bats are important in eating insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides. The smallest bat is the Kitti's hog-nosed bat, measuring 2934 mm (1.141.34 in) in length, 15 cm (5.91 in) across the wings and 22.6 g (0.070.09 oz) in mass.[6][7] It is also arguably the smallest extant species of mammal, with the Etruscan shrew being the other contender.[8] The largest species of bat are a few species of Pteropus and the giant golden-crowned flying fox with a weight up to 1.6 kg (4 lb) and wingspan up to 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in).[9] Echolocation, also called biosonar, is the biological sonar used by several kinds of animals. Echolocating animals emit calls out to the environment and listen to the echoes of those calls that return from various objects near them. They use these echoes to locate and identify the objects. Echolocation is used for navigation and for foraging (or hunting) in various environments. Some blind humans have learned to find their way using clicks produced by a device or by mouth (see Human echolocation). Echolocating animals include some mammals and a few birds; most notably microchiropteran bats and odontocetes (toothed whales and dolphins), but also in simpler form in other groups such as shrews, one genus of megachiropteran bats (Rousettus) and two cave dwelling bird groups, the so-called cave swiftlets in the genus Aerodramus (formerly Collocalia) and the unrelated Oilbird Steatornis caripensis.