Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 695–702 | Cite as

Postnatal growth, age estimation and development of foraging behaviour in the fulvous fruit batRousettus leschenaulti

  • V. Elangovan
  • H. Raghuram
  • E. Yuvana Satya Priya
  • G. Marimuthu


This study documents the postnatal growth, age estimation and development of the foraging behaviour of the fulvous fruit batRousettus leschenaulti under captive conditions. At birth, the young were naked and pink with closed eyes and folded pinnae. By day four of age, their eyes had opened and the pups began to move. The mean length of forearm in 5-day-old pups was 24.9 mm and body mass was 10.8 g, equivalent to 32.3% and 14.2% of the values from postpartum females. The length of forearm and body mass increased linearly until 45 and 50 days, respectively, and thereafter maintained an apparent stability. The epiphyseal gap of the fourth metacarpal-phalangeal joint increased until 15 days, then decreased linearly until 75 days and thereafter closed. Age was estimated quantitatively, based on linear changes observed in the length of the forearm and epiphyseal gap. Pups began to roost separately, but adjacent to their mothers when 30 days old and flew clumsily when they were about 40 days old. After attaining clumsy flight, the young bats made independent foraging attempts feebly by biting and licking small fruit pieces. Young bats were engaged in suckling as well as ingesting fruits when they were about 50 days old. Between 55 and 65 days, they flew well and fed on fruits. At the age of 75 days, the young bats were completely weaned and at two months, their foraging behaviour was similar to that of their mothers. There was no significant difference in the growth pattern of the young maintained in captivity compared with those under natural conditions.


Age estimation fruit bat growth curve Megachiroptera postnatal Rousettus leschenaulti 


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Elangovan
    • 1
  • H. Raghuram
    • 1
  • E. Yuvana Satya Priya
    • 1
  • G. Marimuthu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Behaviour and Physiology, School of Biological SciencesMadurai Kamaraj UniversityMaduraiIndia

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