Christian Ziegler brings us a photo essay he accomplished while living on tropical Barro Colorado Island which is home to at least seventy four distinct bat species. With thousands of individuals living on a small island which is less than 4,000 acres the bats have adapted to find their own niches in the rainforest architecture.
By evolving their hunting, roosting and flying habits these numerous species are able to cohabitate and share the bounty of their island home. Greater Bulldog bats use their long sharp claws to strike fish at water surfaces, Great Fruit-eating bats dine on nutritious figs while Fringe-lipped Bats use echolocation to capture insects and frogs for dinner. This healthy ecosystem benefits from the bats presence as well - the flying mammals keep insect populations in check, pollinate plants and become food for other forest occupants as well.