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Posts Tagged "bats"

Anthropology in Practice

Malagasy Myth Explains Why Bats Sleep Upside Down

My friend Wendy traveled to Madagascar where she was bitten by a (tame) lemur, nearly fell through a broken bridge to her doom, and climbed a mountain of steps. It was a trip of a lifetime—although we’re all very happy she’s home safely. She brought me a couple of of neat things back from Madagascar, [...]

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The Artful Amoeba

Another Bat Die-Off Leads to Discovery of First European Ebola Virus Relative

ebola_virus_cdc_1832_200

Back in 1994, Richard Preston scared the bejeesus out of everyone with his eye-opening non-fiction thriller “The Hot Zone”. It was a gripping read, and teenage me couldn’t put it down. In it, Preston documented the depredations of filoviruses — a family of wildly contagious filamentous RNA viruses that cause horrible, gory, swift deaths by [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Halloween Horrors: The Ghost Bat (aka the False Vampire Bat)

ghost bat

Something ghostly and hungry flies the skies of northern Australia. Its massive white wings stand out against the darkness as it circles, searching for prey. When it finds something tasty this unusual creature darts out of the sky, grabs its dinner in its claws, presses it to the ground and bites into the neck with [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Big-Eared Bat, Once Feared Extinct, Rediscovered after 120 Years

New Guinea bat rediscovered

Sometimes research into one question reveals the answer to another. In July 2012 Catherine Hughes and Julie Broken-Brow, students at the University of Queensland in Australia, were in Papua New Guinea studying how the region’s tiny microbats responded to sustainable logging of their forest homes. As part of the project, the scientists trapped and caught [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Bat-Killing Fungus Now Found in 25 U.S. States

WNS little brown bat

The news for bats in the U.S. keeps getting worse. Last week conservation officials announced that the bat-killing white-nose syndrome (WNS) has been found in Michigan and Wisconsin. The disease, spread by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), has now reached 25 states and five Canadian provinces since it first turned up in New York State [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Fijian Monkey-Faced Bat

Fijian Monkey-faced Bat

This rare bat is only known from a handful of collected animals on a single mountain on a single Melanesian island. Species name: Fijian monkey-faced bat (Mirimiri acrodonta), the only member of its genus and the only mammal endemic to the Republic of Fiji. Also known as the Fiji flying fox. Description: One of the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Starving Orangutans, Dead Bats and Other Links from the Brink (April 13, 2013)

bornean orangutan

Bornean orangutans, gray bats and Grauer’s gorillas are among the endangered species in the news this week. This Week’s Most Heartbreaking Story: A family of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) was photographed clinging to the sole remaining tree in their former forest habitat after the rest of it had been chopped down for a palm oil [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Beautiful Striped Bat Identified as Entirely New Genus

Niumbaha Superba

A new genus of bat has been discovered in South Sudan, the world’s newest country. The strikingly striped bat has been placed into the genus Niumbaha, which means “rare” or “unusual” in the Zande language of the region. A paper describing the bat was published this week in the journal ZooKeys. This actually isn’t the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Bat-Killing Fungus Reaches South Carolina; Now Found in 21 States and 5 Provinces

bat with white-nose syndrome

A dead tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus) found at Table Rock State Park in South Carolina has tested positive for Geomyces destructans, the deadly and mysterious fungus that has killed millions of bats since it was first observed in February 2006. The fungus has now been found in 21 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces. When [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Bat-Killing Fungus Continues Deadly Spread; Death Toll Now at 7 Million

little brown bat white-nose syndrome

Things keep getting worse for North American bats. Nearly seven million from various species have now fallen victim to the deadly but little-understood disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) since it was first observed in February 2006. The fungus that causes WNS, Geomyces destructans, has quickly spread from cave to cave and state to state, [...]

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Extinction Countdown

England Tries Wire and Mesh “Bat Bridges” to Save Endangered Species

The U.K. Highways Agency plans to build a series of new “bat bridges” to help endangered bats fly across the busy A11 highway near Norfolk in eastern England without being killed by cars and trucks, but even though measures to protect bats from projects like this are required by law some politicians are balking at [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Could an Artificial Cave Help Protect Bats from Deadly Fungus?

Bats with white nose syndrome

The deadly fungal infection known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed at least a million bats since it was first observed in 2006. In some areas more than 90 percent of the bats have been wiped out. Scientists have been behind the eight ball in their efforts to protect bats from this mysterious and devastating [...]

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Guest Blog

What Bats, Bombs and Sharks Taught Us about Hearing [Video]

The most surprising part of this story was that they managed to record brainwave activity from the sharks. This tale is about one of the most fascinating figures in the history of neuroscience: Dr. Robert Galambos. This is his story. Right: Robert Galambos, MD, PhD  Source: The New York Times Decades ago, Dr. Galambos discovered [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

What did giant extinct vampire bats eat?

Macrauchenia having a really bad day in the Pleistocene. This scene >>is a parody and almost certainly never happened<<. Tet Zoo dollars to whomever recognises the obvious derivation. Illustration by Darren Naish.

Prior to the spread of people and domestic livestock, vampire bats (here we’re mostly talking about the Common vampire Desmodus rotundus) most likely fed on capybaras, tapirs, peccaries, deer and birds, though we know that they also sometimes feed on fruit bats and reptiles. Populations that live on islands off the Peruvian and Chilean coasts feed [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Poor little bat, impaled on spines

Here’s one of the most remarkable specimens I own. It’s a very dead juvenile pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus sp., most likely P. pipistrellus) that died after becoming impaled on the long and dangerous spines of a gorse bush. As should be clear, even given my limited photographic abilities, a large gorse spine pierced the base of [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Giant flightless bats from the future

Of the world’s 5700-odd living species of mammal, more than 1200 are bats, making them the most speciose mammalian group after rodents (of which there are about 2200 species). Bats are phenomenally diverse and occur in most terrestrial environments around the world. Understandably, they’re often compared to birds, and several bat groups – those that [...]

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