Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Smoky Bats: Furipteridae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Smoky Bat (furipterus Horrens): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SMOKY BATS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Smoky Bats: Furipteridae - Smoky Bat (furipterus Horrens): Species Account

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Physical characteristics: The smoky bat is the smaller of the two species in this family. Head and body length is approximately 1.3 to 1.6 inches (3.3 to 4 centimeters), and their forearms can range from 1.2 to 1.6 inches (3 to 4 centimeters). These bats weigh about 0.1 ounces (3 grams)—only slightly more than the weight of a penny. Females are larger than males by about 10 to 15 percent.

These bats have dense fur. Fur on the head is long and thick. Fur color ranges from brownish gray, dark gray, to a slate blue. Color on the belly is paler. The fur on these bats' head is long and thick. It covers the head and reaches to the snout, almost concealing the mouth. Ears are dark and stiff, and the snout is black.

The smoky bat has a reduced thumb that is enclosed in the wing membrane. (Photograph by Maarten Vonhof. Reproduced by permission.)

Geographic range: These bats are found from Costa Rica to southern Brazil, including Venezuela and Colombia. They are also found on Trinidad but they have not been found on any other Caribbean island.


Habitat: These bats live primarily in humid rainforests of Costa Rica south to Brazil. They often live near streams. They have also been found in evergreen forests and clear areas. They have been found in caves, hollows in trees, and beneath rotting logs.


Diet: Smoky bats eat small moths.

Behavior and reproduction: These bats fly slowly and flutter similar to the way moths fly. These bats wait for complete darkness before they leave their roost to begin foraging. They search for prey beneath the forest canopy, at heights ranging from 3.2 to 16.4 feet (1 to 5 meters).

Colony size varies but it appears these bats do group together in relatively large numbers. One colony observed contained fifty-nine individuals. Another found colony contained approximately 250 individuals divided into groups of four to thirty roosting in holes in the walls. In another cave there were 150 bats roosting separately from one other.

Discovered colonies primarily include males, females, and young. Observations have also found there are all-male colonies, suggesting that females may have separate sites to raise their young.


Smoky bats and people: There is no known connection between smoky bats and people.


Conservation status: These bats are not considered threatened. ∎

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Fenton, M. Brock. Bats. New York: Checkmark Press, 2001.

Fenton, M. Brock. The Bat: Wings in the Night Sky. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 1998.

Nowak, Ronald M. "Smoky Bats, or Thumbless Bats." Walker's Mammals of the World 5.1 Online. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walkers_mammals_of_the_world/chiroptera/chiroptera.furipteridae.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

Richardson, Phil. Bats. London: Whittet Books, 1985.

Ruff, Sue, and Don E. Wilson. Bats. New York: Benchmark Books, 2001.

Web sites:

"Discover the Secret World of Bats." Bat Conservation International, Inc. http://www.batcon.org (accessed on July 5, 2004).

Simmons, Nancy. "Furipterus horrens Thumbless Bat." DigiMorph. http://www.digimorph.org/specimens/Furipterus_horrens/whole (accessed on July 5, 2004).

Weinstein, B., and P. Myers. "Family Furipteridae (Smoky Bats and Thumbless Bats." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Furipteridae.html (accessed on July 5, 2004).

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