Around 400,000 fruit bats sleep day by day on Indoroopilly Island, a little stretch of land of no more than 50 by 500 metres set on the Brisbane River, Australia. And night after night these animals are out on the wing looking for food, flying to fig trees, eucalyptus forests, and also fruit plantations. After their nocturnal foraging, each animal returns to exactly the same sleeping place - just the same as the humans in the bustling metropolis that surrounds them. And we see that in this thoroughly organised city - however that is achieved, for there are no recognisable systems of traffic control, such as street signs or the like - each animal is integrated into the established fabric of their society which is mainly determined by the fact that they always remain in the same neighbourhood and keep close relationships with their co-inhabitants.
The world of the fruit bats is full of wondrous and peculiar things. They hang quite casually in the trees, heads down, metres above the ground, fast asleep in broad daylight, sometimes supporting themselves by no more than a toe. At night they swarm out in their thousands and search for ripe fruit and fresh blossoms. They are intelligent, and communicate by a highly sophisticated language. They are the only mammals to have truly mastered the art of flying, and clearly they have solved all of the problems that arise when the world is turned on its head. Life inside the colony is governed by a complicated set of social rules, yet although they live together in great numbers, they distinguish themselves by their marked individuality and the way that every single fruit bat has its own unique personality.