Bats : a world of science and mystery by Fenton, Melville Brockett; Simmons, Nancy B

By Fenton, Melville Brockett; Simmons, Nancy B

There are greater than 1,300 species of bats - or virtually 1 / 4 of the world's mammal species. yet earlier than you diminish in worry from those hairy "creatures of the night," give some thought to the bat's basic function in our atmosphere. A unmarried ten-gram bat could devour a number of thousand bugs in an evening. during the tropics and subtropics, fruit and nectar-feeding bats also are an important to the lives of vegetation, supplying both Read more...


There are greater than 1,300 species of bats - or nearly 1 / 4 of the world's mammal species. yet sooner than you cut down in worry from those hairy "creatures of the night," examine the bat's fundamental Read more...

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As of 2014, all fossils that can be definitively identified as “bat” come from rocks that are Eocene or younger. It is likely, however, that some fragmentary Paleocene fossils (bits and pieces of jaws and teeth) now sitting in museum drawers may eventually be identified as bats once more complete specimens are discovered. Depending on when they originated, the first bats would have lived in a world full of birds and perhaps other feathered dinosaurs. Pterosaurs, the earliest known vertebrates to have evolved powered flight, were extinct by the end of the Cretaceous period.

Like living insectivores such as shrews and moles, they probably had a relatively long muzzle with molar teeth that had sharp cusps and “W” shaped crests for efficient puncturing and slicing small, armored arthropod prey. Jaw fragments and fossil teeth showing these features are common in fossil collections around the world—indeed, they are frequently found in Late Cretaceous (~100 to 66 million years ago) and Paleocene (~66 to 56 million years ago) fossil sites. Perhaps paleontologists already have fossils of enigmatic “pre-bats” in their collections but haven’t yet recognized them for what they really are!

5 million years old. The rocks themselves are pale laminated mudstones that beautifully preserved the dark brown bones of vertebrates. Most of the fossils from the Green River Formation are fish—over a million specimens representing twenty-five species are known. Other animals, however, were sometimes fossilized, including bats, insects and other arthropods, salamanders, frogs, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, birds and early members of the carnivore and ungulate lineages. Paleontologists think that the climate in Wyoming at the time these animals lived was moist- temperate to subtropical—rather like Florida today.

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