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Bat pollination and hunting

This is my entry for the Flowers Bloom flash challenge   Many of the fruit species on the Eastern Islands are pollinated by bats. The bats feed on the nectar, but also the fruit. When doing so, they are also spreading the seeds of the trees from one island to the other, and are thus responsible for spreading the rainforests to the new volcanic islands.   The Zeribians and other inhabitants of the Islands gather wild fruit in the rainforests, but the more densely populated areas (such as North Washleng) have large orchards that are dependant on the bats flying from the nearby forested islands to pollinate the flowers.  

Bat hunting

The bats coming from the nearby forests arrive in huge groups to the orchards when the fruit trees are flowering. The bats can weight up to 2kg, and are important game for the local Zeribians. Unlike smaller bats, these fruit-pollinating bats are not able to echolocate, and can be thus captured in large nets. They can also be hunted with the bow and arrow. Because the bats are important for the successful pollination of the crops, the bats are only hunted on one day during the flowering season. A more wide spread hunt happens during the ripening of the fruit, when the people drive the bats away from the eating the fruit.  

Religion

by Eggybird
A bat is being offered fruit in a temple
On the Eastern Islands the bats are generally believed to be a good omen, and a sign of the gods visiting the mortals. According to a myth, the bat was originally a dog, that was given wings to carry messages for the gods. Thus they are servants to the gods in the same way as the dogs are the servants to the people.

In the Zeribian pantheon Učelmsišet ('he who flies in the night') is a divine messenger and the god associated with bats. He is often worshipped by travelling merchants, and anyone who wishes to carry out secret plans.The shrines for Učelmsišet are often found near bat caves and other places they rest in. The Zeribians have priests specialised in receiving omens by observing the bats. During the bat hunting, they also perform haruspicy by reading the omens from the bat's entrails.
A bat feeding on nectar

Comments

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Aug 26, 2020 14:36

Such a cute flying fox!

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Aug 26, 2020 19:37

The myth addition was a good touch. It shows that the locals are aware of the bats' importance to their crops and on their diet, by extension.