Watch: Researchers discover first known spectral bat roost in Nicaragua

A family of three great false vampire bats, or spectral bats, spend the day in their tree roost 40 feet above ground in the lowland dry forest of southeastern Nicaragua. ©José G. Martínez-Fonseca

With a wingspan of more than three feet, most people would choose to stay away from the roosts of one of the largest carnivorous bats in the world. But José Martínez-Fonseca, working through Northern Arizona University with TWS member and incoming president Carol Chambers, captured a great false vampire bat (Vampyrum spectrum) — also known as a spectral bat — in a tropical dry forest in Nicaragua and tracked it to its roost. They found the post-reproductive female bat living with two others, possibly its pup and an adult male, in March 2017. The researchers subsequently began work analyzing the bats’ feces to get a better idea about their diet, which includes birds, insects, rodents and other species of bats.

Watch their video below.