Greater horseshoe bat - RHINOLOPHUS FERRUMEOUINUM

Endangered

  • Class: Animals with Milk Glands (Mammalia)
  • Subclass: True Mammals (Eutheria)
  • Order: Hand Wing (Chiroptera)
  • Family: Rhinolophidae.

The name "Bat": "Bat" comes from Old Norse "ledhrblaka," "leather flapper." It became "bakka" and then "bat."

Description: A bat of medium size, distinguished by its large, pointed ears and flattened face; a horseshoe-shaped fleshy disc surrounds the nostrils, forming the base of a pointed noseleaf. Pelage (fur) fine, silky, tawny brown in color, sometimes grayish. Length of head and body about 2.5 in, forearm 2.2 in; weight 0.5-1 oz.

Location: Southern Europe.
Habitat: Caves and woodlands; montane areas in warm regions.
Behavior: The peculiar horseshoe noseleaf acts as a megaphone for the ultrasonic echolocating cries of this species, which, unlike many other bats, emits such sounds through the nostrils rather than the mouth. Its larynx extends into the back of the nasal passages. It forages at night, often taking large beetles and other insects from the ground. Daytime retreats are usually caves, mines, hollow trees, or buildings; during the winter this species hibernates in caverns where it is found hanging in small clusters.

Reproduction: Although breeding occurs in the autumn, fertilization is delayed until spring; actual gestation is about 6 weeks. The single offspring is born in June-July and by autumn attains adult size and can fly. While little, it clings to its mother's fur and to her false teats - 2 abdominal fleshy protuberances.