Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Hello there future biologists, professors and naturalists!!! Welcome to the Grey Headed Flying Fox "creature feature"!! Here you will learn all about how this flying fox lives, dies, evolves and adapts through things such as food webs, creature profiles and pictures!! To navigate the blog, simply click on the links on the right of the screen. Preferably, the seperate pages should be looked at in order to be fully understood (eg. activity 1, 2, 3...) but if you feel like going crazy and going backwards, thats ok too. Enjoy!

Activity 1 - Definitions

In your research of the Grey Headed Flying Fox and any other animal for that matter, it is more than likely that you will come across some or all of these words. They just seem to pop up everywhere! Here are some definitions to help you to understand what they mean...

Adaption – a change in the genetic makeup of an organism as a result of its changed environment or situation.

Producer – an organism which produces its own food using raw materials. For example, plants make their own food using photosynthesis.

Consumer – organisms that consume other organisms to achieve sustenance. For example, all animals are consumers because they cannot make their own food.

Herbivore – consumers that only feed on producers (plants). All herbivores are animals.

Carnivore – consumers that feed on other consumers.

Food Web – a diagram made up of several food chains, showing the eating patterns and energy transfers of a number of organisms.

Activity 2 - Creature Profile

This is a creature profile full of facts and figures, to help you get to know the Grey Headed Flying Fox...


Activity 3 - Food Web

Food Webs can help us to understand the seperate food chains in the animal kingdom. Here is one involving the Grey Headed Flying Fox.

Activity 4 - Adaptions

Over the years, Grey Headed Flying Foxes have made many physical and behavioural adaptions so that they can survive in their environment. Here are 5 examples

Activity 5 - Evolution for climate change

Imagine this...
The Grey Headed Flying Fox is forced to evolve due to climate change so that it can survive in conditions similar to central Australia. What would it do? How would its body change for it to survive in the new conditions? Here are five examples of what might this Flying Fox do...

1. Less fur Currently, the Grey Headed Flying Fox is unlike any other flying fox because it has fur all over its body. If its habitat changed dramatically into a hotter, drier area (as it is in the scenario) then this could not remain the case. This flying fox must change this physical feature so its fur is thinner and covers less of the creatures’ body, so the animal does not overheat or dehydrate too quickly.

2.Area for fluid retention Being in a drier climate, there would be less access to water for the Grey Headed Flying Fox than there is now, so the animal would have to go for longer periods of time without hydration. A solution to this would be for the flying fox to develop an area in its tissues (possibly in the stomach) where fluid could be stored and used in times of drought.

3.Area for fat storage Similar to the issue above, living in a more barren environment, these creatures may not have access to food or nourishment for extended periods of time. A resolution to this problem could be for an area on the creatures’ body (e.g. the legs, stomach or buttocks) to store excess fat. This would provide the animal with nourishment in times of food shortage.

4.More camouflaged fur Because a more barren environment, the food chain will most likely become more competitive if this scenario becomes a reality. This means that the Grey Headed Flying Fox will become more in danger from its predators than it was previously. Therefore, it must develop stronger defences against these predators by (for example) developing more camouflaged fur. It may do this by becoming a more consistent colour and losing the distinctive red collar around its neck which makes it so identifiable.

5.Omnivorous Because of the hotter, drier climate, there will be less vegetation, meaning a less sufficient amount of food for the Grey Headed Flying Fox. To prevent malnourishment, this creature may have to become omnivorous (or even carnivorous) to survive and to not starve.

Activity 6 - Bibliography/References

Not satisfied? Want more of the Grey Headed Flying Fox? Here is a list of sources that could help you along the way...

• Pearson, T. (2008). Sydney Bats. [Internet]. Ku-rin-gai Bat Conservation Society Inc. Available at: [accessed 15 August 2010]

• Unknown Author. (2004). Grey Headed Flying Fox (). [Internet]. Place of publication unknown. Available at: [accessed 15 August 2010]

• Unknown Author (2010). Grey-Headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus). [Internet]. Wildlife Queensland. Available at: [accessed 15 August 2010]

• Unknown Author (unknown year). Grey-Headed Flying Fox. [Internet]. Place of publication unknown. Available at: [accessed 15 August 2010]

• Unknown Author (2008). Habitat, Predators and Feeding. [Internet]. Davidson College. Available at: [accessed 15 August 2010]

• Tideman, C. Eby, P. Parry Jones, K. Vardon, M. (1999). The Action plan for Australian Bats. [Internet]. Australian Government- department of environment, water, heritage and the arts. Available at: (accessed 15 August 2010)

• Unknown Author. (2008). Grey Headed Flying Fox- Vulnerable Species Listing. [Internet]. NSW Government – Environment, Climate Change and Water. Available at: (accessed 15 August 2010)

• Unknown Author. (unknown year). Flying Foxes. [Internet]. Sydney, Australia: Botanic Gardens Trust. Available at: (accessed 15 August 2010)

• Unknown Author. (2009). Grey Headed Flying Fox Illustration. [Internet]. Australian Museum. Available at: (accessed 15 August 2010)

• Unknown Author. (unknown year). Grey Headed Flying Fox Factsheet. Natural Heritage Trust/WWF/ Endangered Species Network

Journal Article
• Graydon, M. (1997). Flying-Foxes are very Visible Visual Bats. Friends of Bats. No. 45, June