National Geographic : 1980 Jun
Hanging by their toes, flying foxes await dusk to unfold their wings. Biggest of bats-the wingspan of one species reaches five feet they thrive on tropical fruits. With eyes ten times as sensitive as man's, these fruit bats forage by sight. But sonar guides most bats. Bouncing high-frequency beeps off objects, they dart and dive for their supper. Mexican free-tailed bats snap up 20,000 tons of insects a year in Texas alone. Other members of the order Chiroptera ("hand-wing") nab lizards, gaff fish, sip nectar. Vampires drink blood. Though carriers of rabies to Central American cattle-rarely to man-vampires belie their horror-movie image. Timid, delicate, they tame quickly with skilled handling. To shed light on a nocturnal world, scientists brave eerie caves and cobwebbed attics. Readers appreciate such demanding, on-the-spot coverage. They receive it every month in the pages of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. WHICH HAND HAS THE PENTAX CAMERA?