Portraits of Pollen-Covered Bats Taken by the World’s Leading Bat Expert

Marianas flying fox (Pteropus mariannus, Pteropodidae)

If you’ve ever seen an image of a cute bat in a newspaper, magazine or a book, it’s likely that this photo was taken by chief bat biologist Merlin Tuttle.

The founder of the Bat Conservation International, Tuttle has spent nearly his entire life working for the conservation of bats, who are often hunted and feared despite playing a vital part in nature.

Here are some of our favorite images from Tuttle’s vast collection. What are your favorites?

Cuban flower bat, Phyllonycteris poeyi, Phyllosomidae at Blue Mahoe Tree (Talipariti elatum; Malvaceae) merlintuttle3 merlintuttle4 Cave nectar bat (Eonycteris spelaea, Pteropodidae); durian polli Underwood's long-tongued bat (Phyllostomidae, Hylonycteris underwoodi) at  Merinthopodium neuranthum, Solanaceae Leache's long-tongued bat (Phyllostomidae; Monophyllus redmoni) at search-me-heart flowers (Gesneriaceae; Rhytidophyllum tomentosum) Cave Nectar Bat (Eonycteris spelaea), Pteropodidae pollinating Wild Banana

Lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae; Phyllostomidae) at cardon cactus Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus), Vesperilionidae Marianas flying fox (Pteropus mariannus, Pteropodidae) merlintuttle12

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