Although little is known about the elusive Canut’s horseshoe bat, much of its biology and ecology is likely to be similar to that of other horseshoe bats.
Horseshoe bats roost in caves, where they hang upside down (5). Leaving their roosts late at night (7), horseshoe bats hunt for a range of small prey, such as insects, spiders, snails and slugs. They are able to catch prey mid-flight or pluck it off the ground or foliage (3). They hunt not by sight (5), but by using their highly-developed echolocation skills (3).The distinctive horseshoe-shaped noseleaf directs sound produced by the bat’s nostrils to form a beam (3).The bat uses its large ears to detect reflected sound from this beam and build up an accurate picture of the objects around, thus pinpointing its prey (6).
Female horseshoe bats usually give birth to a single young after a gestation period of about seven weeks (5) (8). Interestingly, females can have ‘dummy’ teats that produce no milk, but are for their young to hold on to whilst they are in flight. Horseshoe bats generally live for six to seven years (5).