- Common Name:
- Tube-Lipped Nectar Bat
- Scientific Name:
- Anoura fistulata
- about 2.3 inches
The tube-lipped nectar bat was first discovered in Ecuador, a country in South America. It has the longest tongue compared to its body of any mammal in the world. In fact, if this bat were a person, its tongue would be almost nine feet in length! The bat stores the extra-long licker in its chest until it comes across a flower with yummy nectar inside.
Once the animal’s tongue reaches the nectar in the blossom, the tip transforms. Hairlike bristles on the tongue stretch outward, making it prickly. With these bristles extended, the bat can extract more food from the plant. By chowing down on flower nectar, these animals don't just satisfy their hunger—they also help maintain their habitat.
As the tube-lipped nectar bat eats from the flower, it brushes against the petals. This causes pollen from the blossom to fall on the bat’s head. The bat sprinkles the pollen from the flower on the next plant it visits. This can lead to the creation of seeds, which get dispersed and grow into new blossoms. Who knew bats were good at gardening?