Greater bulldog bats are one of only a handfull of bat species that primarily eat fish (piscivores). Found near water in parts of south and central America these fishing bats use echolocation to detect ripples in the water, caused by the fins of small fishes, from two metres away. They then rake their large, taloned feet through the water impaling the unsuspecting prey. This method can result in a catch of over 30 fish during a single fishing trip.
Scientific name: Noctilio leporinus
Common names: Fisherman bat
More info bbc.co.uk / Greater_Bulldog_Bat
In the rainforest of Belize, as evening falls, a predator begins to hunt. The greater bulldog bat is a fisherman. Fish swimming just below the surface of the water create tell-tale ripples which the bat uses to detect the fish below. Flying at 40mph and with absolute precision, the bat takes the fish completely unawares, scooping them from the water with their large back feet. If the shoal scatters, the bats trawl the surface, raking the water by dragging their feet along until they snag a fish close to the surface. Other bats soon arrive at the best fishing spots, and alert each other with warning honks an octave below their usual call, to prevent mid-air collisions.
Release date: 19 November 2009
Duration: 3 minutes