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Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation



Creatures of the Night

The ancient corridors of the Atlantean ruins come alive with Creatures of the Night! Thriving on the plant life that has overtaken many of the ancient passageways, bats and other mammals have taken up residence here, feeding on foliage, fruits, and nectar in the darkness. These creatures of the night are arboreal and nocturnal, meaning that they tend to spend their time in the trees and are active at night. Fortunately, the darkness of the ruins allows you to see these animals moving around, even during the day!

Brazilian Prehensile-Tailed Porcupine
Coendou prehensilis
Originating in South America, the prehensile-tailed porcupine is an arboreal, vegetarian rodent. It spends its day curled up inside the hollow of a tree or some protected spot, and at night, it scours the treetops looking for fruits, leaves and fresh stem shoots to feed on. Despite its apparent size, the animal only weighs about four to eleven pounds! Its body is covered in a series of thickened quills, which it uses to defend itself. Its prehensile tail curves upwards and allows the animal to grasp and hang from branches.

Palla’s Long-Tongued Bat
Glossophaga soricina
Taking up residence in caves and dark caverns during the day throughout Central and South America, the long-tongued bat becomes active just after dark. They leave their home in search of flower nectar, pollen and fruits. These bats eat constantly, with 80% of its energy coming from the simple sugars that it derives from nectar and fruit. Though they are colorblind, these bats locate nectar-rich flowers using ultraviolet light reflected off flower petals.

Did You Know?

What’s that smell? Porcupine musk.In order to mark territory, porcupines secrete a chemical called musk, which they rub onto branches and trees.

Bats eat twice their body weight each day – that’s as if a human were to eat 1,528 quarter-pound burgers each day!

Palla’s Long-Tongued Bat has the fastest metabolism of any mammal – on par with the metabolic rate of hummingbirds.


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