The Symbiotic Relationship Between the Fig Tree & the Amazon Fruit Bat

Fruit bats and other animals are responsible for the spread of fig seeds.
••• wild unripe figs on the tree in santorini Greece image by Antony McAulay from

Fig trees and Amazon fruit bats provide an excellent example of a dependent relationship in nature, a term known as symbiosis. Without each other the fig tree and fruit bat would have a difficult time surviving.

Providing Meals

According to an article on the website of the PBS television show Nature, fruit bats nightly eat half their body weight in figs. Clearly, the fig tree is a necessary staple in the Amazon fruit bat’s survival. Without these trees, the fruit bat’s food source would quickly be depleted.

Spreading Seeds

Fruit bats return the favor to the fig tree by doing their own share of the work. Many times, fruit bats carry their food a short distance away instead of perching in the tree while they eat it. The fruit’s seeds fall as they eat, and another fig tree has the opportunity to grow. In the case that the bat swallows the seeds, they pass through the animal’s digestive tract unharmed and are expelled in a new location.

Eliminating Competition

The Amazon fruit bat’s eating habits not only help deposit the fig trees seeds, but also ensure that seedling will sprout far enough from the parent tree that they do not have to compete for root space and soil nutrients.

Related Articles

What Eats a Bat in the Rainforest?
Facts About Silkworms
The Importance of Flies
Animals of the Canopy
Animals in the Rain Forest That Compete for the Same...
Animals That Live in the Tropical Forest That Are Omnivores
What Are the Benefits of Hornets?
Adaptations of Animals in the Tropical Rain Forest
What Adaptations Enable Toco Toucans to Live?
Why We Can't Afford to Lose Bats
Worms in the Ecosystem
Plant-Eating Animals in the Rain Forest
Animals That Live in the Canopy Layer of the Rainforest
Adaptations of Monkeys for the Jungle
Life Cycle of Bats
What Kind of Ecosystem Do Tigers Live In?
How Does a Turkey Reproduce?
How to Calculate Volume of a Circular Cylinder
Vampire Bat Life Cycle
The List of Useful Insects