Bats have always been quite controversial in the media, especially in the last two years, but the golden flying fox species of bats hold a very special place on the internet. Many years ago when this species of bats started to become more mainstream on the media, it was thought to be fake or photoshopped, but this specific species can grow over 7 feet in height.
Their fox-like appearance is what inspired the name and although they look like the perfect predators, they are actually herbivores. The body of the bat itself is quite small, but the wingspan is what makes it look really big. Different users on social media platforms such as Reddit and Twitter from the Philippines have posted photos with bats that claimed their backyards.
Their large and abnormal size may seem like they are a threat to humans, but it is the other way around. The species is actually being threatened in the Philippines due to the destruction of their natural habitat as well as being hunted for human consumption. Biologists have also found that climate change is a big threat to this species.
Their long wingspan gives them the ability to travel very long distances in a short period of time without much effort due to their gliding abilities. Larger specimens can travel upwards to 250 miles a night, in the right conditions. This helps the species become more versatile and migrate easier if needed due to climate change or other factors that may impact their natural habitat.
Another very interesting aspect of this species is a slight sexual dimorphism: males are larger and heavier than females and have slight differences in the size of their skull structures. Scientists believe that this is the largest species of bats in the world, despite some people thinking they represent some sort of mythical vampires.
The truth is that the golden-crowned flying fox plays a very important role within the ecosystem, one that may be even more important than bees. As this species feeds mostly on fruits, it helps spread the seeds from consumed fruits around natural habitats, ensuring the sustainability of future growth as well as the replantation of plants within nature.
This aspect amazes scientists and shows why it is vital to preserve this species despite its menacing appearance as if they were pulled out of a horror movie.