Photo of the Day

Picture a bat covered in pollen
March 15, 2014

A Movable Feast

A pollen-gilded bat (Phyllonycteris poeyi) emerging from a flower of the blue mahoe tree (Talipariti elatum) demonstrates the carrying capacity of fur. This bat lives in eastern Cuba in a colony more than one million strong—a pollinating powerhouse. For this shot, which appeared in a March 2014 National Geographic story on nectar-seeking bats, the feeder seen here was mist-netted as it approached the flower and released into photographer Merlin Tuttle’s portable studio. A set of blue mahoe branches and a flower indistinguishable from those where the bat was netted were placed in the studio. “After setting up a camera and flashes, we simply waited for the bat to come to the flower,” Tuttle says. See more pictures from the March 2014 feature story “Call of the Bloom.”
Photograph by Merlin Tuttle, National Geographic

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