Japanese companies have created fruit bats and other fruit-eating insects to mimic the habits of fruit bats, and to test their ability to survive in the wild.
The new insects, which resemble fruit bats that feed on insects such as caterpillars, are made by a team of researchers at the University of Tokyo, and the Japanese company FourFour Two is selling them for a record $2,500 (£1,300) apiece.
The bats have an artificial skin covering, which they use to feed on plant and flower buds, but they can also be used for collecting food and to chase away insects.
They can climb up trees and climb down the side of buildings.
The Japanese company says they can survive for up to 10 days without water, and they feed on the same kinds of insects as fruit bats.
The company says the fruit bats are an important part of its research, as they are part of the Japanese biodiversity.
“They can help us to understand the role of certain insects in natural ecosystems and also the interactions between insects and other animals, which may affect the ecological balance of the ecosystems,” said Masaki Yamaguchi, a researcher at the university.
“We need to better understand the roles of insects and plants in natural environments, to make better decisions and make better use of our natural resources.”