Newfound Bats are Real Suckers
By Sara Goudarzi
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 05 January 2007
In the world of bats, there was only one known sucker-foot. Now there are two.
Scientists have discovered a second species of bat with adhesive organs, or suckers, attached to its thumbs and hind feet, allowing the creatures to climb and cling upright to smooth tree leaves.
Previously, scientists knew only of a sister species, Myzopoda aurita, which lives only in the humid eastern forests of Madagascar.
Both species are spotted where broad-leafed plants, especially the Travelers’ Palm, are plentiful. The bats often roost in the slick greens during the day.
Up to now, sucker-footed bats were considered endangered because there was only one known species in the family and because of their limited distribution worldwide.
But the finding of the second sucker-footed species means their range is broader than previously thought.
And given the discovery of the new bat in a dry forest, members of the sucker-footed bat family could survive even if tropical forests are lost to deforestation, a huge issue in Madagascar where less than 10 percent of the country’s original forest cover remains.
See also here.
‘Monastic’ bat mystifies experts – As yet no female sucker-footed bats of Madagascar have been discovered: here.
Fossa in Madagascar: here.