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    Flying Foxes Are Real And They Are Terrifying

    Australia's MEGABATS are "as big as a toddler" (And equally harmless).

    The grey-headed flying fox is Australia's biggest bat.

    It is majestic. Majestically scary.

    You ain't seen nothing till you've seen a sky FULL OF GIANT BATS.

    Adults have an average wingspan up to 1 m (3.3 ft).

    They can weigh up to 1 kg (2.2 lb).


    During the day, individuals reside in large roosts known as colonies or camps.

    These colonies can comprise thousands of individuals.

    At sunset each night they head off to feed, returning before dawn.

    Tens of thousands of bats = an impressive sight.

    Stunningly beautiful or your worst nightmare depending how much you like bats.

    The grey-headed flying fox is endemic to south-east Australia from Bundaberg in Queensland to Geelong in Victoria, mostly in forested areas, but also in the middle of the nation's biggest city.

    The species shares the continent with three other members of the genus Pteropus: the spectacled flying fox, the black flying fox and the little red flying fox pictured here.

    Despite their fearsome look, flying foxes are (mostly) harmless. The species consumes fruit flowers and pollens of around 187 plant species.

    That said, you wouldn't want to come between a mother and her pup

    Public fear of flying foxes has ramped up in recent years with the emergence of three viruses with the potential to kill humans: Hendra virus, Australian bat lyssavirus and Menangle virus.

    According to medical experts, only Australian bat lyssavirus is has the potential to transfer from bats to humans.

    In reality, the biggest hazard is flying fox shit.

    The grey-headed flying fox is classed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

    Find out more about these fascinating creatures.

    View this video on YouTube

    An earlier version of this post did not properly cite sources for the claims that the grey-headed flying fox is Australia’s biggest bat and that lyssavirus has killed two people.