Image: Ghost Bat Illustration

Ghost Bat Illustration

Ghost Bats roost in caves, mines and deep cracks in rocks in northern Australia. They are about 11 cm long with grey fur on their back and a pale grey belly. They have very large ears and eyes and long narrow wings, but do not have a tail.

 

Creator:
Andrew Howells
Rights:
© Australian Museum

Notes

Ghost Bats roost in caves, mines and deep cracks in rocks in northern Australia. They are about 11 cm long with grey fur on their back and a pale grey belly. They have very large ears and eyes and long narrow wings, but do not have a tail.

Ghost Bats fly above the ground at night searching for large insects, frogs, lizards, birds, small mammals and other bats (Little Bentwing-bat). They find their food with their large eyes and ears, as well as 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 find a prey item they swoop down and wrap their wings around it and kill it with powerful bites. They take their prey back to a feeding site, usually a rock overhang or small cave, and pull it apart with their teeth and eat it.

Females give birth to one live young in September or November each year. The young bats are born helpless and without hair. The young bat feeds on milk from nipples located under their mother's armpits. Young bats then hunt for food with their mother until they are able to look for prey themselves.

Ghost Bats are Australia's only carnivorous bat and the pile of unwanted parts of their prey below a roost easily shows their feeding sites.

 

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