Animals
Discs On Their Wings
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The tiny disc-winged bats found in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America roost in a ‘head up’ position rather than the usual upside-down pose adopted by other bats. They can do this because they have a suction cup on each foot and on each thumb. Disc-winged bats select the tube-like unopened leaves of wild banana plants and crawl inside. They hold onto the leaf's smooth surface with their suction cups. But since the leaves unfurl in a few days, leaving them unprotected, the entire roost consisting of around 6-7 bats moves to a new leaf.
Even one of the discs is strong enough to support the bat's entire weight.

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If a disc-winged bat is caught and put in a cage and there is nothing for its suction cups to cling to, it still prefers to hang right side up by using its thumb-claws.
The bats measure just 4 cm in length and weigh 4-5 gm. They have a wingspan of about 22 cm. They are reddish brown or pale brown in colour. They feed exclusively on insects.



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