Caught a strange horse-headed bat-like creature causing a fever in the online community

Across equatorial Africa, Hypsignathus monstrosus – also known as hammerhead bats – dominate the night sky with their huge wingspan and the ability to make amazingly loud noises. As one of the largest bat species in the world, one would have thought it would pose a threat to humanity, especially given its majestic appearance.

While female hammerhead bats look similar to other bat species, males are much more recognizable due to their oversized lips and muzzle. This unique appearance has even made them dubbed as one of the “ugliest” creatures in the world.

But despite its larger-than-life presence, this bat is a vegan, relying on wild fruits native to west and central Africa.

However, hammerhead bats remain a threat in a different, perhaps more surprising way.


Dơi đầu búa: Loài Megabat Châu Phi được mệnh danh là một trong những sinh vật xấu xí nhất thế giới! - Ảnh 1.

Despite its intimidating appearance, this species of bat only eats fruit, so it does not pose a direct danger to humans or livestock. However, they are thought to be one of the hosts (also fruit bats) that transmit Ebola virus.


With a wingspan of up to 38 inches and weighing about 1 pound, the hammerhead bat is Africa’s largest bat species, according to Bat Conservation International. In addition, this is also the strangest dimorphic bat in the world.

The average female weighs 8 ounces (0.03 kg) and does not appear to be any different from other fruit bat species. However, males are much larger and have a clearly distinguished face. Their larynx and diaphragm expand, creating a resonant chamber that makes it easier for them to produce high-pitched vocalizations that attract females.

Hammerhead bats have been found from Senegal in West Africa to northern Angola, nearly 3,000 miles southeast. They thrive in the humid, tropical forests around the lowlands, swamps and rivers of equatorial Africa.

Hammerhead bats eat fruit that grows in the area, including figs, bananas, guava and mangoes. Due to their all-fruit diet, they are considered pests by many African farmers, so they have devised many ways to trap and eradicate them to save their crops.

But farmers aren’t the only ones hunting these particular creatures.

In addition to facing destruction at the hands of farmers, hammerhead bats in some countries also have to watch out for hunters who want to eat them. According to Animalia, people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria kill hammerhead bats to consume them for meat.

In addition to being used as a food source in these equatorial African countries, hammerhead bats also occasionally appear at “food markets” in other parts of Africa and around the world.

Unfortunately, from an epidemiological perspective, this food source sometimes does more harm than good.

Previous studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have revealed that hammerhead bats are considered the “reservoir” of the Ebola virus. The NIH reports: “Molecular testing shows that this and other African bat species are potential hosts for Ebola virus and it is one of only two fruit bat species to be epidemiologically associated with the outbreak. Ebola outbreak in Luebo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2008”.

It’s worth noting, however, that other studies have yet to pinpoint that bats are a “zero point” for the Ebola virus. So far, additional studies are being conducted by scientists to determine the true nature of Ebola transmission, according to Science, but as of 2022, there are no definitive studies linking bats to bats. Ebola transmission.


Dơi đầu búa: Loài Megabat Châu Phi được mệnh danh là một trong những sinh vật xấu xí nhất thế giới! - Ảnh 3.

According to a study published in the Journal of Zoology, hammerhead bats are one of the only species of bats confirmed to participate in the “lek” mating system. During this mating ritual, large flocks of bats from 20 to over 120 gather to attract females.

Each male claims about 30 feet (9 meters) of territory, then hangs from a tree branch and flaps his wings while chirping 60 to 120 times per minute. Female bats fly over and will choose a male they want to mate with and land on a branch next to it. The male then makes a special sound to initiate the mating ritual with the female, then hangs himself on the branch to call for the next female.

The males will then walk away and do not help raise the young with the female. In fact, these bats do not usually congregate in large family groups, instead they often congregate in groups of less than 5 individuals.

For now, conservationists simply continue to monitor one of Africa’s most iconic bats.


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