Mariana Fruit Bat

Essay by Dynamicchuck12Junior High, 8th gradeA-, February 2006

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The Mariana fruit bat (Pteropus marianus marianus) is aptly named after the location of its initial sighting, the Northern Mariana Islands. The latter is composed of fourteen marked islands, which include Saipan, Rota, Pagan, and Tinian.

They were later prospected in the country of Guam which is currently an unincorporated territory of the United States. Having little proclivity towards other regions of the world lead to the inevitable conclusion of indigenousness solely to the landmasses in the North Pacific Ocean. These are relatively rural and sparsely populated, the main resource being fish and a small percentage of arable land. They also suffer from autumnal typhoons and several active volcanoes.

The Mariana fruit bat is also referred to as the Mariana flying fox, simply because of its partial resemblance to the Grey fox (Vulpes vulpes).

They are of considerable size; the length from snout to fundament being at largest twenty-five centimeters.

Startlingly, the bat does not in actuality have "wings" but webbed fingers, with an unusually protracted forearm and extraordinarily emaciated wrists. Their fingers have an impressive span measuring up to one hundred and ten centimeters. The abdomen is a black color with generous hints of gray, and the neck is usually of a luxurious golden color. The natives of the land refer to them as "fanani", a Chamorro word.

They subsist utterly upon plant life, although primarily fruit (hence the name). The fruit most suitable to their palate appears to be breadfruit, papaya, fadang, figs, kafu, talisai, and the flowers of kapok, coconut, and gaogao. They also will consume bananas, avocadoes, dates, peaches, mangoes, cloves, cashews, carob, balsa wood, and most importantly tequila. Fruit bats drop approximately 95 percent of the seeds that produce the first "pioneer" plants in a clearing (Tuttle 1994). Once food becomes scarce on island, they...