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Horseshoe Bats: Rhinolophidae

Physical Characteristics

The name "horseshoe" bats comes from the distinctive shape of their nose. Many species of bats have fleshy folds of skin around their nostrils called a noseleaf. In the horseshoe bats, the lower part of its noseleaf is shaped like a horseshoe or a U-shape. This lower section covers the bat's upper lip. The upper part of the noseleaf, above the nostril, is pointed. In some species, such as Hildebrandt's horseshoe bat, the noseleaf is hairy.

Horseshoe bat species range widely in size, from small to moderate. The smaller species of these bats can have a head and body length of 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters) and the larger species can measure 4.3 inches (11 centimeters). They weigh from 0.15 ounces (4.3 grams; less than the weight of two pennies) to 13.8 ounces (35 grams).

The fur on horseshoe bats can be a variety of colors, including gray-brown and reddish brown fur. Other bats can have gray, black, dark brown, yellow, or bright orange-red fur. Their fur is long and soft. These bats have large ears that are typically pointy and can move independently of one another. Their eyes are relatively small. The wings are broad with rounded ends.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsHorseshoe Bats: Rhinolophidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Horseshoe Bats And People, Conservation Status, Greater Horseshoe Bat (rhinolophus Ferrumequinum): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET