Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Quick pic of Meadowlark Gardens. Most of the flowers are done and the fish in the pond are slowing down getting ready for winter. The lights are up for the night walk but haven't been over there for that yet.
Hope you had a nice big Thanksgiving dinner. Here is a red-tailed hawk (juvenile) enjoying his. I suspect that Norway rat wasn't on your menu...
Jamaican fruit-eating bat (Artibeus jamaicensis) from the Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology
Second of the three large fruit-eating bats I have been babbling about, the Jamaican fruit-eating bat. This bat is slightly smaller than Intermedius and has even less well-defined white forehead stripes. In some places it is one of the most common bats flying at night and can readily be seen just after dark flying around fruit trees in cities.
Normally I do not publish photos showing the teeth, as they make the animals seem aggressive when they are not aggressive at all. But for once I am putting up a shot showing off the pearly whites of a fruit bat just so you can see what it uses to tear open figs and mangos and all the rest.
Intermediate Fruit-eating bat (Artibeus intermedius) from the Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology in Costa Rica
There are three bats which all look pretty much alike, the Jamaican fruit-eating bat, the intermediate fruit-eating bat, and the great fruit-eating bat. While there are small differences, they are most notably different in size, and I just listed them from smallest to largest if you didn't figure that out from the common names.
But none of these bats are small. The Jamaican fruit-eating bat can easily go 1.5 ounces, compared to a big brown bat in the US that on a good day might reach half that weight. The great fruit-eating bat is really quite a large animal, topping the scales at over 2 ounces with a wingspan of nearly 20 inches.
But, let's not jump to conclusions that this is, in fact a separate species of bat. All bats in the Genus Artibeus have been in the sights of the splitters and lumpers (those who tend to separate species and those who tend to lump things into one species) for many years. One currently accepted idea is that Intermedius is another name for Artibeus lituratus palmarum, and was split merely because it consistently falls on the lower edge of the size range for that bat. Enough said. This bat is whatever species/subspecies it is and it falls as Intermedus in my book however that is interpreted.
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist