26 August 2015

One of the smallest mammals thrive in Subic Bay

An Ayta jungle instructor displays a lesser bamboo bat (Tylonycteris pachypus), locally known as “Kabag” and said to be one of the smallest mammals on earth found in the Philippines, during a bird show at the Magaul Bird Park in the Subic Bay Freeport.

The bamboo bats, which may weigh from 3.5 to 5.8 grams, are endemic to Subic Bay with its large rainforest reserve, one of the biggest in the island of Luzon.

This species lives in the hollow of shoots of the giant bamboo Gigantochloa scortechinii; the entrance slit (created by the Chrysmelid beetle, Lasiochila goryi) to the bamboo tunnel is too restrictive for most predators, such as snakes. Flattened skull (to pass through entryway) and toe and wrist pads (to grip inner surface) are adaptations to their roosting site. Groups of up to 40. (AMD/MPD-SBMA)