Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spectacular bats

Darren Naish has written a very interesting series of blog posts on the subject of bats, and if you haven't been following them there is one picture from the series that is surely a contender for the most beautiful bat.  It is a picture of a "painted bat", Kerivoula picta

This pattern appears influenced by body temperature, like the pattern seen in Siamese cats, region of the body that are cooler have darker pigmentation.  It is notable that this is a rather detailed pattern for such a small animal as K. picta is really quite small.  Myotis hermani is also similarly patterned, apparently. And so is Lasiurus borealis, the red bat, whose small face looks like a bat version of Pikachu. 

A few months ago I speculated about the possiblity of "seabats" here.  I just learned that such creatures do exist.  From a post in the series on bats Naish writes:
The foot claws of some species - most notably the Fishing bat Myotis vivesi - are extremely impressive or totally ridiculous, depending on your opinion. In case you didn't know, this bat (unique to the coasts of the Gulf of California) fishes at sea - a pretty incredible bit of behaviour that has led some biologists to describe it as an honorary marine mammal.
Recently I also came across an old photo of a bat about to eat a frog.  Were I to title it, I'd call it "death by winged teeth":

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