Volume 18
Issue 1

Vol 18, No. 1- Spring 2000

The flowers of Africa’s mighty baobab tree offer a welcome treat for this Wahlberg’s epauleted fruit bat (Epomophorus wahlbergi). Like many plants that depend on bats, the baobab has scented, light-colored blossoms that open just after sundown when bats begin feeding. Hanging on the flower, the bat tips the petals to drink nectar, while also collecting pollen on its body. As the bat travels, the pollen is distributed, aiding in the tree’s reproduction. By pollinating this “African tree of life,” bats help provide sustenance and shelter for many other animals, including humans.

Cover Photo by Merlin D. Tuttle