Blogs & Videos: Bats

Not One, Not Two, But Four New Species!

In our recent history, it has not been uncommon for scientists to collect plant and animal specimens from the remotest corners of our planet, and then bring them home to be a part of a collection at a museum.  It’s also not uncommon for some of these specimens to remain undescribed (meaning that no official characterization of the animal has been published in the scientific literature) for years, due to the large number of specimens in the collection.  Many times, new species have been discovered hiding among the specimens in a collection, sometimes 50 years after the specimen was collected.  Of course, it helps if the animal is fossilized – this is the reason scientists are still discovering new species of dinosaurs that once walked the earth!

2009 REU Intern Austin Hicks

Do some nocturnal primates and bats see in colour?

AUSTIN HICKS Junior Molecular Biology major at Loyola University REU Mentors: Dr. Robert Martin (A. Watson Armour III Curator of Biological Anthropology, Anthropology) and Edna Davion (Graduate Student, Anthropology) Symposium Presentation Title: Do Hipposiderid Bats See in Color? (Chordata: Mammalia: Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae)

2009 REU Intern Anna Sjodin

Vampires on vampires?: Coevolution of bats and bat flies

ANNA SJODIN Sophomore Biology and Ecology major at Loyola University FMNH REU Mentors: Dr. Bruce Patterson (MacArthur Curator, Zoology/Mammals) and Dr. Carl Dick, (Postdoctoral Fellow, Zoology/Insects) Symposium Presentation Title: The Vampire’s Vampire: Bats and Blood-Feeding Fly Parasites (Chordata: Mammalia: Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae; Arthropoda: Hexapoda: Diptera: Hippoboscoidea)

2013 REU Intern Kyle Reid

The Bats of Kenya: assessing the species limits of cryptic species

KYLE REID Sophomore Conservation Biology major at Olive Harvey College REU Mentors: Dr. Bruce Patterson (MacArthur Curator, Zoology/Mammals) and Dr Paul Webala (Research Associate, Zoology/Mammals) Symposium Presentation Title: The Bats of Kenya: assessing the species limits of cryptic species

Fieldwork on "The Bats of Kenya"

MacArthur Curator Bruce Patterson (Zoology-Mammals) just returned from a three-week trip to Kenya's South Coast.  Three counties--Kwale, Mombasa, and Kilifi, lying between Malindi and the Tanzanian border--harbor Kenya's richest bat faunas.  Many congregate in the coral caves which line the coastal plain.  Some of these colonies contain more than 100,000 individual bats and virtually all contain multiple bat species.  The caves are used by both fruit bats and insectivorous bats, and it does not take long to appreciate that each bat species uses particular roosting sites within the caves.  Some are restricted to well-lit, well ventilated parts of caves, while other only inhabit caves that offer dark, secluded, and poorly ventilated pockets.