|Official Name||Star-Snouted Bat|
|Common Nicknames||Winged Star, Shooting Star, Star-Snouts|
|Habitat||Caves, hollow trees and attics in temperate regions|
The Star-Snouted Bat is a curious creature, an insectivorous bat distributed around Corontium, Essalonia and Oldt Era. This species is sedentary, long-lived and one of the few bioluminescent land mammals known to man, having a disk-shaped snout that glows white, used to attract prey. The Star-Snout is a skilled and accurate flyer capable of high-frequency echolocation. Seventy percent of its diet is moths, while the remainder is a mixture of ground or cave spiders, beetles, and any other insect it can find. This species of bat hibernates as the supply of insects remains plentiful throughout the year due to the temperate climate of its habitat often dwindling off by autumn. The Star-Snout resides in trees and other forested areas, and during the winter months often find warmth in deep caves and the attics of unaware villagers.
The exact discovery of the Star-Snout is not known as the bat’s homeland has been inhabited for thousands of years. However, its discovery can be narrowed down between 0 AC and 100 AC as settlements began to flourish and documentation became more prevalent. The species has been known since nearly the beginning, dwelling in many of the same caves that early Ailor tribes once used as homes. Many ancient paintings can still be seen today at some of these sites. There are several documented accounts of disturbing caves exploding with a wide expanse of high pitched squealing and bright flashy nodes fluttering and shooting throughout the night sky reminiscent of stars, hence the name. These cute critters have been a tourist attraction for many lands for many centuries, and the wind does not seem to tell of any change soon.
The Star-Snouted Bat is a peculiar creature, being around three inches in length and two inches in width. It has a fairly short snout with two small protruding teeth coming from both the top and bottom near the end of the mouth. A small disk-shaped nose leaf helps focus ultrasonic waves as well as two long, slightly fuzzy, narrow, and transparent ears to receive the echoes. The most curious and alluring aspect of this creature is its bioluminescence being on the disk-shaped nose leaf and the tips of its ears which act to attract moths and other insects attracted to light sources. This has proven a very effective method for the bats but has also coined its name due to the resemblance to a star fluttering about the night sky. The Star-Snout has four fingers and one thumb. Its thumb acts as a hook to link with the other and its four other fingers have become elongated and webbed to form two versatile and agile wings spanning about seventeen inches in length. Its fur is mostly a charcoal black color with white oval dorsal fur coloration spanning in the center of the back near the base of the neck stopping at the lumbar of the back.
There is slight dimorphism between the sexes of these animals, the female being slightly bigger than the male and lacking the glowing ear tips. Females have a plain white dorsal fur coloring while male dorsal fur coloring has speckled edges and being slightly flashier.
Lifespan and Development
Females have one offspring per year and raise the young with other females in communal maternity roosts. The young are born blind, latching on to their mothers for protection and to drink milk which is their primary food source. After two weeks have passed, the Star-Snout’s sight will have developed properly, and leave the maternity roost to join the main commune. Both males and females reach sexual maturity at the same time, about two years. Star-Snouts have a total lifespan of about 40 years, with bats in captivity for study tending to live up to a decade longer.
Star-Snouts are fast and agile hunters. They fly in groups and create a large area glittering with lights attracting moths and other insects for miles across. Once the prey starts to gather they use their echolocation as well as picking up signals from the insects themselves to pinpoint their location and swoop in quickly killing them in one go. Star-Snouts are wary of other species, opting to avoid encounters with most other species and being able to outmaneuver most birds of prey.
Territory and Groupings
Star-Snouts are very social and live together in communal roosts for the majority of their lives, cleaning and picking parasites off each other. Star-Snouts are both polygamous and monogamous. Some females will choose to stay with a male for many years while others tend to go from roost to roost each year. Females tend to visit the males, seeking them out by their glowing ear tips.
- It is seen as a good omen to see a flock of these bats a week before spring. It is considered a bad omen to see them out during the winter months, however.
- Tales state that a rare genetic variant is born once every few decades. This species, colored pure white and glowing, is said to fetch a high price if ever caught. However, no such varieties are proven to exist just yet.
- These bats are a welcome sight among the people wherever they are, restaurants often staying open late to allow customers to see them exit their roosts.
- Star-Snouts stop glowing when they are stationary and roosting.