Image: Eastern Horseshoe-bat Illustration

Eastern Horseshoe-bat Illustration

Eastern Horseshoe-bats are small bats that roost in caves, mines, tunnels and boulder piles in eastern Australia. These bats are about 4 cm long with grey-brown fur covering their body.

Creator:
Andrew Howells
Rights:
© Australian Museum

Notes

Eastern Horseshoe-bats are small bats that roost in caves, mines, tunnels and boulder piles in eastern Australia. These bats are about 4 cm long with grey-brown fur covering their body.

Eastern Horseshoe-bats hunt in forests for flying insects at night. They find insects by making small sounds through their mouths that humans cannot hear. The sounds bounce off objects and come back to the bat. The bats listen to the sounds that come back and are able to tell where things are. This is called echolocation. When they know where an insect is they hunt it down and catch it in their jaws as they fly.

These bats take large food items back to their roost to eat. They pull their prey apart with their sharp teeth.

Females give birth to one live young in November or December each year. The young bats are born helpless and without hair. The young bats feed on milk from nipples located under their mother's armpits. Young bats hold onto the fur on their mother's belly while she searches for food at night. When they are eight weeks old the young bats start to look for food themselves.

The name 'Horseshoe-bat' comes from the fleshy areas of skin around the bat's nose that are shaped like a horseshoe.

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