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.
Filed under: Bats