Friday, October 4, 2013

Largest Bat in the World -- in the PHILIPPINES! :D



Descriptions online vary from source to source

The giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), also known as the golden-capped fruit bat, is a rare megabat and one of the largest bats in the world. The species is endangered and is currently facing the possibility of extinction because of poaching and forest destruction. It is endemic to forests in the Philippines.

The giant golden-crowned flying fox gets its species name from the golden fur around the head, in sharp contrast to the black body. Like all other fruit bats, they have no tail. They are among the largest bats, with a wingspan of 1.5–1.7 metres (4 ft 10 in–5 ft 7 in) and weighing 0.7–1.2 kilograms (1.5–2.6 lb). The only other bats with comparable measurements are a few species of Pteropus.

The largest bat species is the Giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus), a rare fruit bat and endangered species that is part of the megabat family. Despite its name and superficial appearance, it is not closely related to the fox.

The maximum size is believed to approach 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), 55 cm (22 in) long, and the wingspan may be almost 1.8 m (6 ft).

The golden crown measures six feet in wingspan, the largest among all bats.


Now for some trivia:
The giant golden-crowned flying fox usually flies and are active at night. There have been several folkloric tales and mythical creatures in the Philippines that may be attributed to this giant bat, usually from the countryside. I haven't experienced them because I was born and raised in the city - there aren't much trees around, and noises from vehicles and machinery may disturb these "creatures".

One example of a mythical creature that could actually be the giant golden-crowned flying fox is the kikik.


Kikik transforms into a huge bird/bat at night and prowls. The kikik looks for a sleeping pregnant woman. Then it extends a very long proboscis into the womb and kills the fetus by draining its blood. It is said that while this is taking place, a 'kik-kik-kik' sound is often heard.
-- Hewbert Gabon

For one thing, I have a strong feeling that NO ONE has ever seen that kikik do the whole act of eating the fetus by extending its long, horrifying tongue inside the pregnant woman. According to Cebuano accounts online, they only heard sounds of the kikik's feet on their roof, and the bat or birdlike sounds they make. Due to the various and widespread rumors and tales prominent in a province, women who are pregnant would suddenly become conscious of the sounds that bats make. Since bats usually dwell and sleep in trees and caves, one could only expect quite a large population of them in the countryside because of all the forests and caves there :D

According to Avelina Gil, author of "In the Beginning", myths are the precursor of scientific investigation. Old folks who are not quite acquainted with science yet use their imagination to explain strange things, usually to warn kids and keep everyone intact.

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