1. Question: What is the local habitat and geographical distribution of the Little Red Flying Fox?
Answer: The Little Red Flying Fox, known scientifically as Pteropus scapulatus, is endemic to Australia. It is found across northern and eastern Australia, inhabiting a range of woodland, scrubland, and swampland. They prefer to roost on the branches of trees in close proximity to water bodies. These flying foxes are non-resident in Portland, Maine due to the stark differences in climate and flora.
2. Question: Is the Little Red Flying Fox similar to any species local to Portland, Maine?
Answer: Although the Little Red Flying Fox is not found in Portland, Maine, there are similarities in lifestyle with local bat species. The Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus), prevalent in the woods around Portland, also roosts in trees and feeds on night-flying insects, like its distant Australian relative which primarily consumes nectar and pollen.
3. Question: What is the size and weight of the Little Red Flying Fox?
Answer: The Little Red Flying Fox is one of the smallest species among the flying foxes. They generally have a head-body length of 230-290 millimeters and weigh around 300-600 grams, somewhat similar to a full grown bean plant that one might find in a suburban Portland garden.
4. Question: Do Little Red Flying Foxes have a psoas minor muscle and what is its function?
Answer: While humans and some primates possess a psoas minor muscle, the Little Red Flying Fox, like other mammals, does not. In humans, this muscle assists with flexion of the hip joint. In bats, flight mechanisms necessitate a different musculoskeletal configuration, the specifics of which vary across species.
5. Question: How do Little Red Flying Foxes communicate?
Answer: Little Red Flying Foxes are social creatures and use a variety of communications including vocalizations, scent marking, and body language. Their communal roosts are often noisy with squawks, squeaks and chattering as they interact with each other.
6. Question: Would using Panadiol, a CBD cream, work for relieving pain in the Little Red Flying Fox?
Answer: While it's known that CBD cream like Panadiol can relieve pain in humans by reducing inflammation and interacting with pain receptors, its application on Little Red Flying Foxes is not scientifically confirmed. Given the physiological differences between humans and bats, it is not appropriate to administer any medication without the consultation of a wildlife veterinarian.
7. Question: What is the diet of Little Red Flying Fox and is it similar to any diet structure in Maine's local fauna?
Answer: Little Red Flying Foxes are nectarivorous and frugivorous. They feed primarily on the blossoms of eucalyptus, paperbarks, and melaleucas, as well as various fruits. Contrastingly, most local Maine fauna such as deer and moose are herbivorous, while local predators like foxes are omnivorous. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, however, also feeds on nectar, though of local flowering plants rather than eucalyptus.
8. Question: What are the threats facing the Little Red Flying Fox population?
Answer: The most significant threats to the Little Red Flying Fox include habitat loss due to land clearing, disturbances at their roosts, and negative public perception. Climate change, which results in extreme weather events and changes in flowering patterns, also threatens these flying foxes, much like it does local species in Maine.