Vampyrum spectrum


     The Spectral Bat's greatest attribute is its olfactory system. Considered only second to the Jaguar, it is the second best hunter in the forests of Central and South America. It uses its extremely sensitive sense of smell to find its prey roosting in trees or scurrying along the forest floor during the night.  V. Spectrum mainly feeds on small birds, rodents, amphibians, lizards, and even other bats! This bats favorite food are gregarious (roost together) birds who roost on open branches in the trees. These bats are also very stealthy and successful hunters. Similar to eagles or owls, they patrol above their prey, waiting for the perfect opportunity to swoop down and kill their prey by crushing the skull with a powerful bite. This species of bat has also been known to eat specific fruit that grows in it habitat.    

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     Adults are solitary hunters and have a very high success rate when hunting their prey under the cover of darkness. Pairs of mating bats often take turns leaving the nest for 1 to 4 hours in search of food. They also bring food back to their young in the nest. One nest was found to have the remains of over 85 different birds!