The lumbrixes are probably the most bizarre family of predatory bat, due to their ability to produce light (oh c'mon). These creatures a rose around 15 million years AME and are still around at the golden age of the Allocene. The lumbrixes are native to Southern Asia and Australia where they prey on birds, reptiles and large mammals.
Originally a mutated bat, the chronology of the lumbrix family goes way before the other families of predatory bats. Descended from the flying foxes, the lumbrixes were, at first, just like any species of bat. The bats were dominant in the role of avian predator with parrots squeezing through the cracks. Due to large amount of UV exposed to these bats, a genetic mutation arose which gave a select few of these bats the ability to emit faint pulses of light throughout their body (why?). Over time, this ability transformed from "homing beacon" to "strategic trait" due to the lumbrixes gaining control of this bioluminescence.
The bioluminescence is activated when the lumbrix pushes blood to raised areas, or pads, of a biochemical that makes the blood glow. It acts as a type of kaleidoscope where the blood is reflected through the pads, which then causes the pads to emit a pulse of neon red light. Different species of lumbrixes use this trait for different reasons including hunting, communication and finding mates. Some lumbrix species are flourishing but other species have been facing a steady decline starting around 20 million years AME.
Wolf-Faced Lumbrixes Edit
This sub-family of lumbrix are called wolf-faces due to their canid like faces. Although not looking identical to a wolf or fox head, wolf-faces have similar facial features to canines. This includes a wide nose And pointed ears, which is particularly unique to this genus of bat. Wolf-Faces are particularly native to the South Pacific region including South Asia, New Guinea and Australia.
A sub-group of wolf-faces, ropens are one of the most common species of Lumbrix on the planet with 5 different species. Ropens are both predators and scavengers, eating corpses and even their own young if food is scarce. Their diet consists of small animals, eggs, large herd mammals and birds. These bats are found throughout Eurasia and Africa, due to the large number of bat species. Below are the species of ropen with their wingspan and location listed.
- Charred Ropen - 2 meters (7 feet) North Africa
- Greater Swarmer - 1 meter (3 feet) East Asia
- Lesser Swarmer - 60 cm (2 feet) South Pacific Islands
- Scarfaced Ropen - 3 meters (9 feet) Central Africa
- Crested Ropen - 3 meters (10 feet) West Asia and East Europe
The swarmers are a subspecies of ropen that hunt in small groups, or swarms, that team-up on a large mammal in order to immobilize it. These bats are the smallest, only reaching heights of a half-meter (1.5 feet) but are extremely deadly when hunting. Larger ropens are mostly ambush predators and don't fly out in open areas for long periods of time. The Charred and Crested ropens live on cliff-faces, and dive bomb prey like large hyraxiformes or birds.
Dwarf Lumbrix Edit
- Wingspan: 122 cm (4 ft)
- Height: 61 cm (2 ft)
- Range: Eastern Australia
- Habitat: Rainforests and Mangroves
- Diet: Small animals, fruit, insects and eggs
Dwarf lumbrixes are, like the name suggests, the smallest species of wolf-faced lumbrix. Sharing many similar traits with its ancestor, the flying fox, this species is also the most primitive. Dwarf lumbrixes have a much fainter glow compared to other species which enables them to become more hidden in the trees and caves. Their coloration consists of grey with dark red stripes running down the lumbrix's back. The creature's wings are grey as well with red claws, along with a very bat-like head. A dwarf lumbrix head is elongated and has the nose wider like a dog nose.
Dwarf lumbrixes are mainly solitary, only pairing up to mate and raise pups. These creatures hunt similarly to owls by launching their feet first at prey, unlike other lumbrix species. This species of lumbrix uses its glowing trait for distinction between individuals, similar to different stripe patterns on zebras. By flashing these different patterns, dwarves can locate each other for mating, or if a pup is lost its pattern can be used as a homing beacon. A combination of this beacon and a constant cry can also draw in predators like quolleos or dirats.
Angler Lumbrixes Edit
Angler lumbrixes are completely different from wolf-faces and look more like actual bats. Unlike wolf-faces, angler lumbrixes prey on smaller creatures, like rodents and insects, by luring them in with pulses of light. Anglers are way more successful than wolf-faces and have evolved into several different species. The largest is the Midas Angler with a wingspan of a whopping 8 feet.
Ground Angler Edit
- Wingspan: 1.5 meters (5 ft)
- Height: 75 cm (2.5 ft)
- Range: Central and Southern Australia
- Habitat: Rainforests and Grasslands
- Diet: Small mammals and insects
Ground anglers are a species of wingless angler lumbrix native to the southwestern region of Australia. Like the name suggests, ground anglers are terrestrial and cannot fly due to their lack of wings. The membrane attatched to the lumbrix's arm is gone due to the angler being an ambush predator. Ground Anglers don't need wings because they don't hunt avian prey. However, ground anglers have kept their arms and the claws on each hand have transformed into a single digit, which is used for stabbing prey and fending off predators. Ground Anglers are very well camouflaged with a green and brown coat, which helps the creature blend into the forest floor.
These creatures have learned how to climb small mangrove trees and use their claws as stakes for scaling objects. A more effective way for hiding from predators is burying itself in leaves and dirt. When sleeping, ground anglers hang upside down on branches and vines. When attacked during the day, these creatures will continue to scratch the foe with its large claws. Ground Anglers emit flashes of light at night which attracts bugs, and in turn draws in small mammals like mulgrays, which are preyed on by these beasts.