It may be added that even bats are unable to cross large tracts of sea; and the fact that fruitbats of the genus Pteropus are found in Madagascar and the Seychelles, as well as in India, while they are absent from Africa, is held to be an important link in the chain of evidence demonstrating a former land-connexion between Madagascar and India.
The large fruit bats (Pteropus) occur in immense colonies, and are sometimes eaten by the natives.
When first seen by Europeans it contained no mammals except a large fruit-eating bat (Pteropus vulgaris), which is plentiful in the woods; but several mammals have been introduced, and are now numerous in the uncultivated region.
The Pteropus edulis (kalong, flying fox) is to be met with almost everywhere, especially in the durian trees.
There is great variation in size; the Malay "flying-fox" (Pteropus edulis) measures about a foot in the head and body, and has a wing-spread of 5 ft.; while in the smaller forms the head and body may be only about 2 in., and the wing-spread no more than a foot.