Image by @joelsartore | The Pallas Long-tongued bat from @HoustonZoo is the star of this #pollinatormonday and can be found from Northern Mexico all the way to Paraguay and Argentina. This little bat is thought to have the fastest metabolism of all mammals, similar to that of the hummingbird. In a single day, this bat can use up to 50% of its stored fat! The Pallas long-tongued bat earned its name for one reason: it has a specially evolved tongue that makes collecting nectar a breeze. When the bat extends its tongue, blood rushes into the area and expands special hair-like barbs on the bat's tongue, causing these barbs to stand upright. The barbs function like a mop and allow the bat to pull a great amount of nectar into its mouth in a very short amount of time, making it a highly efficient snacker. Indeed, it lives almost entirely off of nectar and pollen but is known to eat pieces of fruit and insects as well. Its quest for nectar results in the transport of a great amount of pollen from one flower to the next on its fur and snout, allowing it to pollinate as many as 34 different species of fruits and flowers. Many plant species also rely on this bat for seed dispersal when they pass through the droppings, allowing reseeding that's automatically fertilized in the process.
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