Fruit bats are possibly one of the most adorable animals to grace our planet.
They’re not an animal that you want to get too close to, since bats tend to harbor a variety of illnesses, but they’re cute nonetheless!
Since bats have a reputation for chowing down on insects and surviving on blood, you may be wondering what do fruit bats eat?
What do Fruit Bats Eat?
Instead of bugs or the blood of farm animals, fruit bats prefer to dine on avocado, dates, mangoes, and bananas! They love fruit of all types, including seeds. In zoos, fruit bats have access to an even wider variety of fruit, including oranges, strawberries, and whatever the keepers have that happens to be in season.
Understanding the Fruit Bat Diet
Fruit bats can vary in size, ranging from two to sixteen inches long. They do tend to get quite large and are often referred to as The Flying Fox.
They’re fuzzy, they’re cute, and they love to eat fruit.
Fruit bats have incredibly sharp incisors that help them bite through the tough skin of the fruit they love to dine on. This may cause them to look intimidating, but in reality, they’re more interested in biting fruit than biting you.
Fruit batsthrive in places where the forest is thick, and the land is expansive with tropical features and fruit.
They like to live where the fruit grows throughout the year, giving them unlimited access to the food that helps them thrive.
Fruit Bats & Tropical Climates
Because fruit bats tend to flourish in tropical climates, they’re acclimated to eating plenty of tropical fruit. They love bananas, avocados, oranges, and dates.
Fruit Bats aren’t opposed to any fruit in particular, but they have basics in their diet. These basics are evident by the seeds in their poop and native to the land they choose to live in.
Also, because fruit grows in different places throughout the year in tropical climates, fruit bats have to travel long distances to eat the fruit they love consistently.
Fruit Bats & The Ecosystem
Fruit bats are significant contributors to the ecosystem. Fruit bats excrete seeds in their poop, which causes those same fruit trees to grow where they’ve pooped.
This is a pretty incredible contribution to the ecosystem, essentially allowing fruit bats to sustain the tropical environment they prefer.
It’s important to remember that fruit bats aren’t the only animals that benefit from the way fruit bats help maintain the rainforest’s ecosystem.
Every animal that lives alongside the fruit bat is grateful to them for traveling many miles and repopulating the land with sustenance.
Fruit Bats & Insects
It’s not uncommon to see fruit bats consuming smaller insects. It’s not their food of choice, but they do eat them when given the chance or out of necessity.
However, if there are not enough insects around, fruit bats can survive by consuming fruit.
Fruit Bats & Unripened Fruit
Unlike humans, fruit bats are happy to eat unripened fruit. They have the teeth to cut through the more problematic skin, and they don’t mind that the fruit inside isn’t as sweet as usual.
This ability to eat fruit that isn’t ripe is beneficial to fruit bats, as they have a constant flow of food when there isn’t any fresh fruit available.
How Fruit Bats Find Foods
When we think of bats, we typically picture them hanging upside down in dark, damp caves. While this is true of many species of bats, it’s not so for fruit bats.
Fruit bats prefer to hang upside down on fruit trees. They love to hang from banana and mango trees and spend a great deal of their day looking for food.
Fruit bats use both their vision and senses to find food. You can see them either landing to eat their fruit or hanging in the air.
It’s typically not too tricky for fruit bats to find food, depending on the time of year. Commonly found in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia, fruit bats love warm weather and the delicious fruit that comes with it.
Frequently Asked Questions about What Do Fruit Bats Eat
Are fruit bats aggressive?
Unless cornered or injured, healthy fruit bats are generally not aggressive. Of course, humans should give them the space they deserve, but they don’t typically attack humans.
Do fruit bats eat anything other than fruit?
Though fruit bats prefer fruit, they aren’t opposed to dining on insects when they find it necessary.
Do fruit bats only eat tropical fruit?
In the wild, fruit bats eat mostly tropical fruit because that’s where they naturally live. In zoos, fruit bats can be introduced to a wider variety of fruit.
A Grasp on the Fruit Bat Diet
In general, bats have earned a reputation based on mystery and myth.
Understanding where fruit bats live and what they eat can make them seem a bit less scary, primarily when they’ve grown to be quite large.
A generally harmless creature, fruit bats much prefer a nice banana over attacking humans and animals.