Hundreds of bats were found falling dead from the sky amid the record-breaking heat waves in New South Wales, Australia. Commonly known as flying foxes, many were found scattered on the ground, while some were left dangling from trees due to extreme heat in Campbelltown, a suburb and major center in the metropolitan area of Sydney.

Photos of the dead creatures were shared online by local volunteer groups Wires and Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands. In a post Sunday, the volunteer groups described the "dreadful and heartbreaking day."

"So many little lives lost due to the extreme heat and not enough canopy cover to shade them or keep them cool. Adults sought out shade and more shelter further up the creek resulting in many babies being left behind to deal with the heat. Many pups were on their last lot of breaths before getting much needed help by the WIRES members. As the dead bodies were recovered and placed in a pile for a head count the numbers had reached 200 not including the many hundreds that were still left in trees being unreachable, sadly a few adults were also included in the body count," the Facebook post from Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown read.

The Australian city of Sydney experienced its hottest weather in 79 years with temperatures in the region hitting as high as 47.3 Celsius (117 F). Penrith, in the city’s west, exceeded 47C on Sunday afternoon. Campbelltown is located just 32 miles south of Penrith.

"Heat stress sadly claimed the lives of many hundreds of young flying-foxes at Campbelltown yesterday afternoon & the camp at Parramatta Park was also impacted," North Western Sydney Wires wrote on Facebook early Monday. "Hundreds of mainly young flying-foxes were lost to the heat yesterday & the final count could run to thousands."

Young bats are particularly susceptible to extreme heat, with temperatures above mid 30 posing a life risk. Temperatures above 40 degrees pose a risk to adults as well. 

Campbelltown colony manager Kate Ryan told local media the bats "basically boil" in such extreme conditions and "it affects their brain – their brain just fries and they become incoherent."

Flying foxes, which go with the scientific name Pteropus, belong to the megabat suborder Megachiroptera — the largest bats in the world.

High temperatures in the New South Wales area forces authorities to issue a total fire ban, to reduce the risk of wildfires, which are common during Australia's arid summers. Sydney and its nearby area could see more hot weather Monday with some rain later in the day.