WITH THEIR long, narrow tongues, dawn bats (Eonycteris spelaea) are ideally suited to feed on the nectar and pollen of flowers. In the process, they pollinate the plants so that they will later bear fruit. The kind of flowers they visit varies greatly-from the large white flowers of Thailand's famed Durian tree to the wild banana flowers shown here. They live in diverse habitats from forests to cultivated areas, but they usually roost in caves. Dawn bats are found throughout Southeast Asia to Borneo and the Philippines and in India's mountainous Northeast, the westernmost limit of its range. Everywhere these bats are found, they are key pollinators.
PHOTO BY MERLIN D. TUTTLE