Sucker-footed Bats

According to Science Daily scientists have discovered a new species of bat in Madagascar. The twist is that the bas has suckers or adhesive organs on its thumbs and hind feet.

The new species is named Myzopoda schliemanni and occurs in the dry western forests of Madagascar. A couple of interesting items stand out in the Science Daily article:

Myzopoda are often found in association with broad-leaf plants, most notably Ravenala madagascariensis or the Travelers’ Palm, a plant that is endemic to Madagascar but has been introduced to numerous tropical countries. Myzopoda are found in association with such plants because they can use their suckers to climb and adhere to the leaves’ flat, slick surface. They are presumed to roost in the leaves during the day.
Myzopoda were considered endangered because of their limited distribution and the notion that the family included only one species.

Researchers argue that, because of the similarities between M. schliemanni and M. aurita (until now the only known species of Myzopoda), one probably evolved into the other and dispersed across the island from east to west. Because of its adaptability, researchers argue that conservation efforts should be scaled back:

The researchers determined that Myzopoda is not endangered by the loss of the moist tropical forests because the bat appears to have adapted very well to the large broad-leaf Ravenala that are often pioneering plants in zones where the original forests have been cleared and burned.

4 Responses

  1. OK, so there’s a bat with sucker feet. How does that explain PYGMYS+DWARFS?

  2. Well, see, there are, um, suckers and, well, bats. Um, and the bats, did I mention the suckers, um….fly and stuff. Hope that clears things up for you…

  3. OK, so there’s a bat with sucker feet. How does that explain PYGMYS+DWARFS?

    Prior to the advent of advanced missile weapons, Homo Sapiens was threatened by giant sucker-footed bats that used their sucker feet to latch onto the heads of humans, and carry them off to their lair for munching and crunching.
    Now of course, like all predators, the giant sucker-footed bat went for the easiest prey – that is, the tallest people of a tribe, for which it need not dive nor climb as far in order to fasten its sucker-feet onto.
    This situation of course favored the shorter over the taller, and, over time, populations gradually became shorter and shorter.

    Later, firearms were developed, and used to hunt the giant sucker-footed bat to extinction (except, perhaps, in central Africa). The advantage shifted back toward the tall, and populations began to grow taller – as anyone who has spent time in buildings that date back to the early 1800s or earlier can testify. However, the extinction of the giant sucker-footed bat is a relatively recent event, and many pygmies and dwarves remain.

    If you doubt the giant sucker-footed bat, I can only respond, why do we still have pygmy and dwarf sucker-footed bats, which our good blogger has just written about?

  4. Ahh, it’s the old pygmies+dwarves bat infinite regress gambit!

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