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sweet, sweet nectar
March 21, 2006 4:29 AM   Subscribe


 
WONDER AT NATURE! and wonder at collections of amazing photos of BATS!!! And a few more lovely hummingbirds.
posted by beerbajay at 4:30 AM on March 21, 2006


The enthusiasm alone makes this post great.
posted by borkingchikapa at 5:32 AM on March 21, 2006


I must defend the honor of lorikeets and lories worldwide by saying that they are parrots. Some authorities classify them as a distinct family, but more commonly they are classified as a subfamily of the true parrots.

Lories and lorikeets have a specially adapted tongue with little brush-like "papillae" at the tip, allowing them to harvest nectar and pollen from flowers in the wild. Also, their tongues are quite long.

They're immensely cute, as well. Very smart, affectionate, and deviously cunning. We have two little buggers at home.

Oh, and the rest of the nectar-eaters are okay too, I guess.
posted by dammitjim at 6:46 AM on March 21, 2006


I happen to think the bats are the cutest out of all of them. I love their little teeth and deliciously feisty mouths and the shape of their heads!
posted by beerbajay at 7:15 AM on March 21, 2006


beerbajay is ethylene with complete sentences.
posted by orthogonality at 7:21 AM on March 21, 2006


I'm shocked, shocked I say, that you could put up such a post without mentioning Hawk Moths!

Freaky little buggers, they are: Big as my thumb, and at a passing glance you mistake them for hummingbirds. Some are quite impressively marked.
posted by lodurr at 7:27 AM on March 21, 2006


Beerbajay: yes, the bats are quite cute. Your fascination with them is infectious when you describe their fiesty mouths as "delicious." You may enjoy this list of bat poems, compiled on ReadingLady.com. Excerpt:

Bats
Flying, flying in the sky,
Bats are neat, I'll tell you why.
Flying foxes are the tallest,
Bumblebee bats are the smallest.
Bats are yellow, red, and brown,
Bats sleep hanging upside-down.
Some eat bugs and some eat fruit,
Some look mean and some look cute.
Flying, flying in the sky,
Bats are neat, now you know why!
posted by dammitjim at 7:45 AM on March 21, 2006


Don't forget the rare and elusive Hairy-Eared Dwarf Lemur:
In captive hairy-eared dwarf lemurs it was found that males and females groom each other before they leave the nest at night.
Steppin' out for sweets with your Sweetie, 3 ounces of lookin' good.
posted by cenoxo at 8:12 AM on March 21, 2006


Bats that eat nectar and pollinate by night. Wow. (I can't help but wish, now, that someone would create beebats.com, the premier online repository for pictures of bats in bee costumes.)
posted by Gator at 9:07 AM on March 21, 2006


Thanks for mentioning Hawk Moths, lodurr. I didn't realize that Tobacco hornworms were part of this family. I worked in the tobacco harvest one summer where one of the most disgusting aspects (apart from nicotine poisoning, sleep deprivation, exposure to pesticides, etc.) was tobacco worms. They were the size of hot dogs, the same green as the plant, with horns. Inevitably you'd squish a half-dozen or so a day as you grabbed for leaves.
posted by 327.ca at 10:07 AM on March 21, 2006


[this is good]
posted by interrobang at 11:14 AM on March 21, 2006


Boy, bats are just about the coolest animals ever.
posted by mckenney at 11:39 AM on March 21, 2006


Moths, of course, are the pollinators of the beautiful and elusive Night Blooming Cereus.
posted by kyrademon at 12:53 PM on March 21, 2006


Some other interesting diet definitions: frugiverous (fruits), insectivorous (insects), gramnivorous (grasses), granivorous (grains/seeds).
posted by beerbajay at 1:04 PM on March 21, 2006


The Importance of Bats:
The economic benefits of bats reach around the globe and touch virtually all our lives in one way or another. Bats are a boon to agriculture, science and medicine. The produce section of the supermarket would be sadly lacking were it not for bats. Fruit-, pollen- and nectar-feeding bats are the most effective seed-dispersing and pollinating mammals on Earth. Many of our favorite tropical fruits and nuts -- including bananas, avocados, mangos, breadfruit, dates, figs, cloves and cashews -- are now, or were in the past, dependent on bats. In Southeast Asia, the harvest of fruit of the durian tree, which is pollinated almost exclusively by a cave-dwelling nectar-feeding bat, accounts for about $100 million in sales annually.
And no, they don't try to get in your hair.
posted by cenoxo at 1:52 PM on March 21, 2006


Oh, hey, in case anyone was wondering, the CDC is here to ease our minds: "People cannot get rabies just from seeing a bat in an attic, in a cave, or at a distance."

I hope you will all breathe easier now, as I will.
posted by Gator at 2:00 PM on March 21, 2006


How could you miss African sunbirds? They look like over-grown hummingbirds. Had one in my kitchen one day, managed to show it the open window.

I have a bat that sleeps in a rolled-up blind, on my patio. It comes home around the time I get up. Usually flies around my head a few times before going to bed.
posted by Goofyy at 9:03 PM on March 21, 2006


Sunbirds are in the Nectariniidae family!
posted by beerbajay at 3:39 AM on March 22, 2006


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