Image: Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-bat Illustration

Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-bat Illustration

Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-bats are bats that roost in tree hollows in northern and eastern Australia. They are about 8 cm long with black fur on their back and a white or yellow belly. They have long narrow wings to help them fly very fast.

Creator:
Andrew Howells
Rights:
© Australian Museum

Notes

Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-bats are bats that roost in tree hollows in northern and eastern Australia. They are about 8 cm long with black fur on their back and a white or yellow belly. They have long narrow wings to help them fly very fast.

Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-bats fly high above the treetops (canopy) at night searching for flying insects. 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.

These bats catch insects in their jaws midair and eat them as they fly.

Females give birth to one live young between December and March 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 until they are old enough to look for food for themselves.

Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-bats are known as Sheathtail-bats because part of their tail is wrapped in the skin that stretches between their back legs. The skin can slide up and down the tail.

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