Fruit Bats are members of the suborder of Megachiroptera of the order Chiroptera, the group of winged flying mammals. They are typically restricted to the Old World in tropical and subtropical distribution, ranging no further than the eastern Mediterranean and South Asia and are absent from northwest Africa and southwest Australia. Most fruit bats have large eyes, allowing them to orient themselves visually in twilight and inside caves and forests. Their sense of smell is excellent, and they are the only bats who do not use echolocation. They are migratory mammals, traveling south to escape cold temperatures. Fruit bats have been reported on the island on their migratory path north. The Skipper actually confused them with vampire bats and practically had Gilligan convinced he was going to be a vampire. One of them terrified Ginger and Mary Ann exploring the caves for fragments of the Stone Tablet.
- Vampire bats are restricted from Mexico to Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Unlike fruit bats, they can read the heat signatures and hear the breathing sounds of other mammals.
- Fruit bat populations can range in the millions.
- Fruit Bats are also known as flying foxes; the largest wingspan for a flying fox is six feet.
- Gilligan also mentions bats in The Matchmaker after he confuses "bats in her belfry" (a colloquialism for "crazy") for "ants in her belfry" and goes in search of an ant-eater.