Every evening in Battambang, Cambodia, millions of bats leave their caves in search for food. It is a spectacle to behold. It seems like an endless assembly line of bats as they leave the caves. It took more than 30 minutes for the bats to exit the caves.
Bats are mammals with their forelimbs adapted as wings. The smallest bat is Kitti’s hog-nosed bat, which is 29–34 millimetres in length, 150 mm across the wings and 2–2.6 g in mass. The largest bats are the flying foxes and the giant golden-crowned flying fox, Acerodon jubatus, which can weigh 1.6 kg and have a wingspan of 1.7 m.
The number of bat species exceed 1200. They are classified as two suborders:
Megachiroptera (megabats), and Microchiroptera (microbats/echolocating bats).
Several characteristics distinguish the two groups.
Microbats use echolocation for navigation and finding prey, but megabats apart from those in the genus Rousettus do not, relying instead on their eyesight.
Megabats eat fruit, nectar, or pollen, while most microbats eat insects; others feed on fruit, nectar, pollen, fish, frogs, small mammals, or blood.