Friday, January 5, 2007

New Sucker-Footed Bat Discovered In Madagascar

The Brain-Bats of Venus by Basil Wolverton from Mr. Mystery #7

Scientists have discovered a new species of bat, Myzopoda schliemanni, that has large flat adhesive organs, or suckers, attached to its thumbs and hind feet. This is a remarkable find because the new bat belongs to a family of bats endemic to Madagascar--and one that was previously considered to include only one rare species.

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. link