Marc Schlossman/Panos Pictures

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Honduran White Bat. No. 123156. Field Museum of Natural History.

Huddled together under the roost they construct out of the wide, waxy leaves of the Heliconia plant, a group of Honduran white bats more closely resembles a bunch of white cotton balls than the archetypal bat. Their white, furry bodies are punctuated by large pointy ears and a prominent, yellow, leaf-shaped nose. They are around 3-5cm long and spend the day sleeping in these homemade tents before venturing out at night to look for fruit to eat. E. alba is native to the Central American countries of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, inhabiting tropical forests with dense canopies.

The Honduran white bat is now categorised as near threatened because its population is steadily decreasing. The primary reason for the decline is loss of habitat as agriculture and urban development continue to spread. In Costa Rica, for example, 80 percent of the land was forested, yet today, a century later, this figure has fallen to just 20 percent. E. alba has very specific habitat requirements, namely the leaves of the Heliconia plant for shelter, and loss of its habitat amplifies its vulnerability as a species.

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Object Name
Marc Schlossman/Panos Pictures
Chicago, Illinois
Max size
High Resolution
5000 x 3337 pixels
42.33 x 28.25 cm (300 dpi)
16.67 x 11.12 inch (300 dpi)
1.1 MB size on disk
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