The Hypsignathus monstrosus, also known as the hammer-headed bat, is a species of bat that is known for its huge size.
The hammer-headed bat is a species of bat that has an astonishing wingspan of over three feet. The males of this species have a unique appearance - oversized lips and snouts - which is why they are called one of the world’s ugliest creatures.
But their weird appearance is misleading. In fact, they are nothing more than fruit lovers who enjoy feeding on wild fruits. Their diet mainly includes fruits that are indigenous to western and central Africa. Needless to say, they don’t harm humans or other animals.
Despite this, they are largely hunted.
Due to the hammer-headed bat’s vegetarian diet, they feed on man-grown crops and, therefore, are a huge threat to farmers. Also, people in the countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria hunt these mammals for their tasty flesh, which is bushmeat.
The term ‘bushmeat’ stands for meat obtained after a wild game. The meat of these bats is sometimes available in the ‘wet markets’ of Africa and throughout the world.
Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that the hammer-headed bat is a potential reservoir of the Ebola virus and is epidemiologically linked to the outbreak of the disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008. However, further studies couldn’t prove this.
The hammer-headed bats are also killed to reduce the noise they create. They follow a mating ritual called lek in which the males of this species gather together and honk approximately 60 to 120 times per minute to attract females.