Historical information

There are 62 species of Flying Foxes or "Fruit Bats" globally, with 3 existing in Australia: the grey-headed, the little-red, and the black. Flying Foxes are nocturnal, social and herbivorous animals. They can weigh up to 1kg and live up to 30 years. In Australia, Flying Foxes occupy a range from Bundaberg in Queensland to Geelong in Victoria. Most species are listed as endangered or vulnerable.

This specimen is part of a collection of almost 200 animal specimens that were originally acquired as skins from various institutions across Australia, including the Australian Museum and the National Museum of Victoria, as well as individuals such amateur anthropologist Reynell Eveleigh Johns between 1860-1880. These skins were then mounted by members of the Burke Museum Committee and put-on display in the formal space of the Museum’s original exhibition hall where they continue to be on display. This display of taxidermy mounts initially served to instruct visitors to the Burke Museum of the natural world around them, today it serves as an insight into the collecting habits of the 19th century.


The specimen is part of a significant and rare taxidermy mount collection in the Burke Museum. This collection is scientifically and culturally important for reminding us of how science continues to shape our understanding of the modern world. They demonstrate a capacity to hold evidence of how Australia's fauna history existed in the past and are potentially important for future environmental, climate and conservation research.

Physical description

Small sized flying fox with a pointed head, curved body, bushy tail, and curved claws perched on a wooden mount. The pelage is thick, long and silky in pale caramel and tan shades. The head is small with two pointed ears, two glass eyes, and about five teeth.

Inscriptions & markings

On wooden mount:

BMM5895 /