Remains of extinct bat found in Otago

Artist’s impression of a New Zealand burrowing bat Mystacina robusta that went extinct in the 1960s. The new fossil find is an ancient relative. Illustration by Gavin Mouldey

The discovery of fossilised remains of a giant bat that lived in New Zealand millions of years ago shows that it was once home to a diverse range of furry creatures.

Burrowing bats not only fly but also scurry about on all fours.

The scientific name of the bat is Vulcanops jennyworthyae and it is the largest known species of all burrowing bats.

The most awesome factor related to this discovery is the addition of the genus, Vulcanops, which is the first of its kind to find a place in the list of bats found in Newland in a time period of 150 years. Image credit: Gavin Mouldey.

Burrowing bats are odd because they not only fly, but also move hurriedly over the forest floor, under leaf litter and along tree branches while looking for both animal and plant food.

The University of Salford noted in a statement that burrowing bats used to exist throughout the once-connected landmasses of the Southern Hemisphere, including in Australia, South America and perhaps even Antarctica, but today are only found in New Zealand. The modern counterparts of these ancient bats can be found far away in the South American continent.

More news: IRS to face massive strain under GOP tax law

Te Papa's Alan Tennyson was part of an worldwide team of scientists from Australia, the United Kingdom and US who reported the new fossil find in the journal Scientific Reports. They eat insects and other invertebrates such as weta and spiders, which they catch on the wing or chase by foot.

"And they also regularly consume fruit, flowers and nectar", said Hand. But their giant ancestors, which were three times the size of the average bat today, could count on specialized teeth that allowed him to devour a richer variety of plants and even small vertebrates, a diet that is now only followed by its South American cousins.

"Burrowing bats are more closely related to bats living in South America than to others in the southwest Pacific", said the study's lead author Professor Sue Hand, Director of the Palaeontology, Geobiology, and Earth Archives Research Centre (PANGEA) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, in a press release. It most likely living in the forests and ferns, close to the prehistoric Lake Manuherika, which was once part of the Maniototo region on the South Island, researchers wrote in the paper. At that time, New Zealand was a "semitropical to warm-temperate" rainforest, the study notes.

"Vulcanops jennyworthyae provides new insight into the original diversity of bats in Australasia", the paleontologists said. It probably went extinct after the early Miocene (a geologic epoch that started about 23 million years ago and ended about 5.33 million years ago), like other extinct species found in the same location.

"These include crocodiles, terrestrial turtles, flamingo-like palaelodids, swiftlets, several pigeon, parrot and shorebird lineages and non-flying mammals". On contrary to the previously understood system, these species evolved in way more complicated community.

While that does not sound like very much, it's practically colossal by bat standards - many species weigh just a fraction of an ounce.

Related News:



Most liked

The Flu Nearly Reached Epidemic Levels This Season
Nationally, the number of states reporting high flue activity increased from 21 to 26, the health department reported. The hospital said the move was consistent with state and federal laws, The Dallas Morning News reported .

World oil prices down
The production cuts by oil cartel OPEC and other countries including Russian Federation are expected to run through this year. According to online source Finanz, the USA crude oil inventories shrank over the past week, which pushed oil prices higher.

Here come the class-action lawsuits against Intel over CPU security flaws
In a statement on its website , Apple said all Mac and iOS devices are affected by both Meltdown and Spectre . Games hardware giant Intel has responded to recent reports of a bug and flaw in its CPUs.

Flash freezing and freezing drizzle possible, as temperatures rapidly fall
Friday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm, mainly before 3 p.m., then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. The National Weather Service says that one to three inches of snow are expected with wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour .

Amazon Alexa Coming to Toyota Vehicles
This company isn't new to making smart glasses, but the product it plans to unveil at CES 2018 could change the game. From one direction, Amazon is bringing its Alexa ecosystem into the world's largest computer ecosystem, Windows PCs.

Google Pay Launching as Google Consolidates Payment Options
Google Pay is still in its early stage of roll out, and things will gradually take shape in the coming days. When you begin using Google Pay , you will notice it is much easier to purchase items and pay for them.

Congress must act to protect immigrant families
Originally from Mexico, Gomez interacts frequently with local Latinos - both documented and undocumented. The Center's executive director, John Keller, said his clients would seek legal status if they could.

Rohingya insurgents regrouping to fight Myanmar state
It is not the refugees, but the insurgents that are complaining that they have not been consulted on the plan. The militants were forced to flee and an exodus of some 650,000 Rohingya villagers to Bangladesh followed.

Democrats to Trump: Your Russia silence is deafening
Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said the chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee received a copy of the report Monday evening. Trump has repeatedly dismissed the Russian Federation probe as a witch hunt and denied collusion.

IKEA offers discount after urinating on their ad
Certainly unconventional but incredibly clever, the advertisement features a solitary photo of a Sundvik crib with a price tag attached.

Swiss Apple store evacuated after iPhone 6s Plus battery starts emitting smoke
Planned obsolescence is illegal in France, and if found guilty, Apple faces hefty fines and its employees possible jail terms. But at least now you can get a $29 mea culpa from Apple - even if you have to wait for it.

Syria rejects France's accusations of bombing hospitals in Idlib
The prime suspect was the Al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham, according to a number of news sites. Syrian government forces backed by allied militia are targeting an air base in southeastern Idlib province.

Racist 'coolest monkey in the jungle' hoodies bring out black creativity
The ruler of the world, an untouchable Force that can never be denied!" Many have branded this advert from H&M as " racist ". Terry Mango took to Facebook to address the accusations her five-year-old son Liam was a victim of discrimination.

Kia Forte renderings reveal a sedan with Stinger style
But the most significant change is the switch from the predecessor model 's cab-forward design to a swept-back one. The rationale goes something like this: if you want a three-box sedan design, get a crossover and enjoy more room.

Gun attack kills Israeli settler in Nablus
The U.S. -brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians reached an impasse in 2014. He sustained multiple wounds to the upper body, and was rushed to a hospital in Kfar Saba.