Thursday, 16 April 2015

Post-coital licking

There is in our lodge a roost of handsome short-nosed fruit bats Cynopterus brachyotis. It is in fact on account of this species, according to an email from Quentin yesterday, that individual mangoes are clothed in newspaper bags here.

Today I learned something else about short-nosed fruit bats. We have in our group a very knowledgeable mammal-watcher who is a self-confessed batophile. By good fortune there are fruit bats roosting in his eaves. He arrived for our afternoon walk brimming with excitement for he had witnessed the mating of the fruit bats. While he had not managed to capture the happy event on his camera, he had succeeded in photographing the post-coital licking.

With a sparkle in his eye he told me he was keen for this to be mentioned on my blog; in order that his wife, who is reading, might know he was enjoying himself.

On our night walk this evening we saw four red giant flying squirrels gliding into the gathering night. As dusk came, and the squirrels poked their noses from their tree holes, blue-throated bee-eaters sallied from the orangutan ropes at the rehabilitation centre. Away in the forest a rhinoceros hornbill called for the end of the day, and a brown wood owl for the start of the night. We sat quietly watching the squirrels, dwarfed by the giant trees around us, and awed by the Bornean forest in which all these wonderful animals live.

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