Megachiroptera


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Related to Megachiroptera: Microchiroptera

Megachiroptera

[¦meg·ə·kī′räp·tə·rə]
(vertebrate zoology)
The fruit bats, a group of Chiroptera restricted to the Old World; most species lack a tail, but when present it is free of the interfemoral membrane.

Megachiroptera

 

a suborder of mammals of the order Chiroptera. In contrast to representatives of the other suborder of bats, Microchiroptera, many megachiropterans attain large dimensions (body length up to 42 cm, wingspread up to 1.5 m). However, small forms also exist (body length up to 6 cm). The tail in many species is absent. The teeth are smooth-crowned, adapted for crushing plant food. The eyes are large. Both vision and the sense of smell are well developed. The capacity for echolocation has been established only in Megachiropterans of the genus Rousettus, which live in caves.

Megachiropterans are distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the eastern hemisphere as far north as Egypt, Asia Minor, and southern Japan; there are none in the USSR. The suborder has one family, Pteropodidae, which comprises about 200 species. Megachiropterans are active at night and at twilight. They spend the day in treetops, more rarely in caves or on cliffs. Some are sometimes active during the day. Megachiropterans usually live in large colonies. The female bears one offspring annually. Most megachiropterans feed on the fruit pulp of wild and cultivated plants. The small species feed on nectar and flower pollen and thus serve as pollinators of a number of tropical plants. They sometimes damage orchards. Representatives of the genus Pteropus, and sometimes all megachiropterans, are also called kalongs.

P. P. STRELKOV

References in periodicals archive ?
These results support theories that lyssaviruses are endemic within specific bat populations, that they may not cause high mortality rates, that exposure rates of LBV between megachiroptera in Old World African bats are high, and that bats may breed successfully after LBV exposure (7,8).
Cumulatively, all available evidence indicates that LBV is likely persistently maintained in Megachiroptera populations in South Africa and other African countries where LBV has been reported in the past.
From February 1,2000, to December 4, 2001, a total of 119 bats (85 Megachiroptera and 34 Microchiroptera) were tested for Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) infection.
A second strain has been shown to infect the four species of Megachiroptera in the genus Pteropus that occur in mainland Australia (1,3).
Species bats positive (%) Megachiroptera (fruit bats) Cynopterus brachyotis 56 2 (4) Eonycteris spelaea 38 2 (5) Pteropus hypomelanus 35 11 (31) Pteropus vampyrus 29 5 (17) Cynopterus horsfieldi 24 0 Ballionycterus maculata 4 0 Macroglossus sobrinus 4 0 Megaerops ecaudatus 1 0 Microchiroptera (Insectivorous bats) Scotophilus kuhlii 33 1 (3) Rhinolophus affinis 6 0 Taphozous melanopogon 4 0 Taphozous saccolaimus 1 0 Hipperosiderus bicolor 1 0 Rhinolophus refulgens 1 0 Total 237 21 (a) Sera from 324 bats were tested: 59 sera that gave toxic results at dilutions 1:10 were excluded from analysis, as were sera from 28 captive P.
ABL has been confirmed in five species of Australian bat: four species of flying fox (suborder Megachiroptera, genus Pteropus) and one species of insectivorous bat (suborder Microchiroptera, Saccolaimus flaviventris).
Young and colleagues subsequently showed that fruit bats (flying foxes), members of Megachiroptera, were the natural hosts on serologic grounds and by virus isolation, with widespread evidence of infection in four species of fruit bat: the black (Pteropus alecto), grey-headed (P.