Gargoyle-Like Hammer-Headed Bat with 1-Meter wingspan is the Largest in Africa

Name: Hammer-headed bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus)

The hammer-headed bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus, is a specie of bat from  Africa. During stressful situations, these bats isolate themselves from  their groups. : r/Awwducational

Where it lives: Lowland forests of West and Central Africa

This honking hammerhead bat has the world's strangest nostrils | BBC  Science Focus Magazine

What it eats: Fruit — including figs, bananas, guavas and mangoes — and flies

Why it’s awesome: These “megabats” are the largest in continental Africa. Hammer-headed bats are named after the males’ oddly elongated, boxy heads, which contain a large resonating chamber that amplifies their calls. This bizarre head is the product of the bats’ unusual mating system.  

sustracción Autor Calle principal hammerhead bat flying texto Concentración  Intención

Hammer-headed bats are among the few bat species with a lek courtship system — a kind of pageant where up to 150 males gather twice a year to impress females with loud honks and a wing-flapping display. 

Males hang from riverside trees and honk for hours at a time, while females fly by selecting a suitable mate.

Females are highly picky, choosing the same 6% of males as mates 79% of the time (meaning the other 94% of males only get lucky once in a blue moon).

Hammer-headed Fruit Bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus) · iNaturalist

The loudest honks usually get the most attention, so males have evolved a voice box, or larynx, that takes up around half their body cavity. 

Their larynx is so large it pushes the heart, lungs and intestines back and sideways, according to a 1990 study

Hammer-headed bat: The African megabat that looks like a gargoyle and holds  honking pageants | Live Science


Their bodies are also smaller, weighing about half as much as males — 0.5 pound (230 grams) compared with 0.9 pound (420 g) — and measuring around 8 inches (20 centimeters) long, compared with up to 11 inches (28 cm) for males.

However, both males and females have about a 3.3-foot (1 meter) wingspan and smooth, grayish-brown fur. 

Photos of Hammer-headed Fruit Bat (Hypsignathus monstrosus) · iNaturalist

Although they are frugivorous, meaning they eat fruit, hammer-headed bats are thought to occasionally turn carnivorous.

A 1968 study reported observations of these bats feeding on scraps of bird meat and killing chickens to drink their blood in Gabon.

Is the Hammerhead Bat a Real Animal? | Snopes.com

The observer, a herpetological collector named Harry Andrew Beatty, twice rescued chickens that were “attacked late at night by Hypsignathus,” according to the study.

Another fun fact about hammer-headed bats? They wrap their huge wings around their humped noses to go to sleep.

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