Rousette d'Edwards, Hand-Colored Copper Engraving, 1849
Rousette d'Edwards, hand-colored copper engraving, 1849
Depicted in this stunning engraving is an old world fruit bat known as Geoffroy's rousette (Rousettus amplexicaudatus), here called "Rousette d'Edwards".
Pteropus, also known as flying foxes or fruit bats, are the largest in the world. Unlike their smaller relatives, fruit bats have excellent vision. For this reason, the majority of fruit bats do not use echolocation, but Geoffrey's Rousette does. They also have a strong sense of smell. Their diet consists solely of fruits, blossoms and nectar. The creatures are identifiable both by their distinctive clicking sounds, and their short fur, often grey-brown in color, sometimes with bursts of yellow throughout. These remarkable megabats can be found in tropical climates, particularly in regions around the south of Asia and islands just above Australia.