Last week's New Scientist no 2303 (11 Aug 2001)p.23 carried the
A giant species of European bat regularly dines on birds - a first for
the bat world.
Carlos Ibanez from the Donana Biological Station, Spain, and his team
looked at 14,000 fecal pellets from Nyctalus lasiopterus. They found a
huge number of bird feathers in the pellets in spring and autumn, when
millions of small birds migrate through the Mediterranean basin at
night(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol 98, p.9700).
They suspect the bats are capable of chasing birds down in flight,
another first for bats."
Queries arise: 1. How big is this species of bat?
2. I know the Australian Ghost Bat can and does capture small mammals,
lizards etc, caught on the ground. Are there any records of it taking
small birds - presumably from roost sites?
Anthea Fleming in Ivanhoe, Vic.
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