Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera

Author : jackicen
Publish Date : 2021-03-05


Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera

Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera.[a] With their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more manoeuvrable than birds, flying with their very long spread-out digits covered with a thin membrane or patagium. The smallest bat, and arguably the smallest extant mammal, is Kitti's hog-nosed bat, which is 29–34 millimetres (1 1⁄8–1 3⁄8 inches) in length, 150 mm (6 in) across the wings and 2–2.6 g (1⁄16–3⁄32 oz) in mass. The largest bats are the flying foxes and the giant golden-crowned flying fox, Acerodon jubatus, which can weigh 1.6 kg (3 1⁄2 lb) and have a wingspan of 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in). The second largest order of mammals after rodents, bats comprise about 20% of all classified mammal species worldwide, with over 1,400 species. These were traditionally divided into two suborders: the largely fruit-eating megabats, and the echolocating microbats. But more recent evidence has supported dividing the order into Yinpterochiroptera and Yangochiroptera, with megabats as members of the former along with several species of microbats. Many bats are insectivores, and most of the rest are frugivores (fruit-eaters) or nectarivores (nectar-eaters). A few species feed on animals other than insects; for example, the vampire bats feed on blood. Most bats are nocturnal, and many roost in caves or other refuges; it is uncertain whether bats have these behaviours to escape predators. Bats are present throughout the world, with the exception of extremely cold regions. They are important in their ecosystems for pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds; many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for these services. Bats provide humans with some direct benefits, at the cost of some disadvantages. On the benefits side, bat dung has been and in many places still is mined as guano from caves and used as fertiliser. Bats consume insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides and other insect management measures. They are sometimes numerous enough and close enough to human settlements to serve as tourist attractions, and they are used as food across Asia and the Pacific Rim. On the disadvantages side, fruit bats are frequently considered pests by fruit growers. Due to their physiology, bats are one type of animal that acts as a natural reservoir of many pathogens, such as rabies; and since they are highly mobile, social, and long-lived, they can readily spread disease among themselves. If humans interact with bats, these traits become potentially dangerous to humans. Depending on the culture, bats may be symbolically associated with positive traits, such as protection from certain diseases or risks, rebirth, or long life, but in the West, bats are popularly associated with darkness, malevolence, witchcraft, vampires, and death. Contents 1    Etymology 2    Phylogeny and taxonomy 2.1    Evolution 2.2    Classification 3    Anatomy and physiology 3.1    Skull and dentition 3.2    Wings and flight 3.3    Roosting and gaits 3.4    Internal systems 3.5    Senses 3.5.1    Echolocation 3.5.2    Vision 3.5.3    Magnetoreception 3.6    Thermoregulation 3.6.1    Torpor 3.7    Size 4    Ecology 4.1    Food and feeding 4.1.1    Insects 4.1.2    Fruit and nectar 4.1.3    Vertebrates 4.1.4    Blood 4.2    Predators, parasites, and diseases 5    Behaviour and life history 5.1    Social structure 5.2    Communication 5.3    Reproduction and lifecycle 5.4    Life expectancy 6    Interactions with humans 6.1    Conservation 6.2    Cultural significance 6.3    Economics 7    See also 8    Notes 9    References 9.1    Sources 10    External links Etymology An older English name for bats is flittermouse, which matches their name in other Germanic languages (for example German Fledermaus and Swedish fladdermus), related to the fluttering of wings. Middle English had bakke, most likely cognate with Old Swedish natbakka ("night-bat"), which may have undergone a shift from -k- to -t- (to Modern English bat) influenced by Latin blatta, "moth, nocturnal insect". The word "bat" was probably first used in the early 1570s.[2][3] The name "Chiroptera" derives from Ancient Greek: χείρ – cheir, "hand"[4] and πτερόν – pteron, "wing".[1][5] Phylogeny and taxonomy The early Eocene fossil microchiropteran Icaronycteris, from the Green River Formation Evolution The delicate skeletons of bats do not fossilise well; it is estimated that only 12% of bat genera that lived have been found in the fossil record.[6] Most of the oldest known bat fossils were already very similar to modern microbats, such as Archaeopteropus (32 million years ago).[7] The extinct bats Palaeochiropteryx tupaiodon (48 million years ago) and Hassianycteris kumari (48 million years ago) are the first fossil mammals whose colouration has been discovered: both were reddish-brown.[8][9] Bats were formerly grouped in the superorder Archonta, along with the treeshrews (Scandentia), colugos (Dermoptera), and primates.[10] Modern genetic evidence now places bats in the superorder Laurasiatheria, with its sister taxon as Fereuungulata, which includes carnivorans, pangolins, odd-toed ungulates, even-toed ungulates, and cetaceans.[11][12][13][14][15] One study places Chiroptera as a sister taxon to odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla).[16] Boreoeutheria Euarchontoglires (primates, treeshrews, rodents, rabbits) Cynocephalus doguera - 1700-1880 - Print - Iconographia Zoologica - Special Collections University of Amsterdam - (white background).tiff Laurasiatheria Eulipotyphla (hedgehogs, shrews, moles, solenodons)Mole white background.jpg Scrotifera Chiroptera (bats) Flying fox at botanical gardens in Sydney (cropped and flipped).jpg Fereuungulata Ferae Pholidota (pangolins) FMIB 46859 Pangolin a grosse queue white background.jpeg Carnivora (cats, hyenas, dogs, bears, seals) Hyaena striata - 1818-1842 - Print - Iconographia Zoologica - Special Collections University of Amsterdam -(white background).jpg Zalophus californianus J. Smit (white background).jpg Euungulata Perissodactyla (horses, tapirs, rhinos) Equus quagga (white background).jpg Cetartiodactyla (camels, ruminants, whales) Walia ibex illustration white background.png Megaptera novaeangliae NOAA.jpg Phylogenetic tree showing Chiroptera within Laurasiatheria, with Fereuungulata as its sister taxon according to a 2013 study[15] The phylogenetic relationships of the different groups of bats have been the subject of much debate. The traditional subdivision into Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera reflected the view that these groups of bats had evolved independently of each other for a long time, from a common ancestor already capable of flight. This hypothesis recognised differences between microbats and megabats and acknowledged that flight has evolved only once in mammals. Most molecular biological evidence supports the view that bats form a natural or monophyletic group.[7] Chiroptera Megachiroptera Pteropodidae (megabats) Mariana Fruit Bat.jpg Microchiroptera Rhinolophoidea Megadermatidae (false vampire bats) Megaderma spasma.jpg Craseonycteridae (Kitti's hog-nosed bat) Craseonycteris thonglongyai.png Rhinopomatidae (mouse-tailed bats) Rhinopoma microphyllum.jpg Hipposideridae (Old World leaf-nosed bats) Commerson's leaf-nosed bats hipposideros commersoni.jpg Rhinolophidae (horseshoe bats) Rhinolophus rouxii.jpg Yangochiroptera Miniopteridae (long winged bat) Miniopterus schreibersii dasythrix.jpg Noctilionidae (fisherman bats) Captive Noctilio leporinus.jpg Mormoopidae (Pteronotus) Pteronotus parnellii.jpg Mystacinidae (New Zealand short-tailed bats) MystacinaTuberculataFord.jpg Thyropteridae (disc-winged bats) Furipteridae Furipterus horrens.jpg Mormoopidae (Mormoops) Mormoops megalophylla.JPG Phyllostomidae (New World leaf-nosed bats) Desmodus rotundus A Catenazzi.jpg Molossidae (free-tailed bats) Mormopterus beccarii astrolabiensis 1.jpg Emballonuridae (sac-winged bats) Emballonura semicaudata, Ovalau Island - Joanne Malotaux (22057146275).jpg Myzopodidae (sucker-footed bats) Emballonuridae (Taphozous) Mauritian Tomb Bat.jpg Natalidae (funnel-eared bats) Chilonatalus micropus.png Vespertilionidae (vesper bats) Barbastella barbastellus 01-cropped.jpg Internal relationships of the Chiroptera, divided into the traditional megabat and microbat clades, according to a 2011 study[17] Genetic evidence indicates that megabats originated during the early Eocene, and belong within the four major lines of microbats.[15] Two new suborders have been proposed; Yinpterochiroptera includes the Pteropodidae, or megabat family, as well as the families Rhinolophidae, Hipposideridae, Craseonycteridae, Megadermatidae, and Rhinopomatidae.[18] Yangochiroptera includes the other families of bats (all of which use laryngeal echolocation), a conclusion supported by a 2005 DNA study.[18] A 2013 phylogenomic study supported the two new proposed suborders.[15] Chiroptera Yangochiroptera (as above) Pteronotus parnellii.jpg Yinpterochiroptera Pteropodidae (megabats) Mariana Fruit Bat.jpg Rhinolophoidea Megadermatidae (false vampire bats) Megaderma spasma.jpg horseshoe bats and allies Rhinolophus rouxii.jpg Internal relationships of the Chiroptera, with the megabats subsumed within Yinpterochiroptera, according to a 2013 study[15] Giant golden-crowned flying fox, Acerodon jubatus In the 1980s, a hypothesis based on morphological evidence stated the Megachiroptera evolved flight separately from the Microchiroptera. The flying primate hypothesis proposed that, when adaptations to flight are removed, the Megachiroptera are allied to primates by anatomical features not shared with Microchiroptera. For example, the brains of megabats have advanced characteristics. Although recent genetic studies strongly support the monophyly of bats,[7] debate continues about the meaning of the genetic and morphological evidence.[19] The 2003 discovery of an early fossil bat from the 52-million-year-old Green River Formation, Onychonycteris finneyi, indicates that flight evolved before echolocative abilities.[20][21] Onychonycteris had claws on all five of its fingers, whereas modern bats have at most two claws on two digits of each hand. It also had longer hind legs and shorter forearms, similar to climbing mammals that hang under branches, such as sloths and gibbons. This palm-sized bat had short, broad wings, suggesting that it could not fly as fast or as far as later bat species. Instead of flapping its wings continuously while flying, Onychonycteris probably alternated between flaps and glides in the air.[7] This suggests that this bat did not fly as much as modern bats, but flew from tree to tree and spent most of its time climbing or hanging on branches.[22] The distinctive features of the Onychonycteris fossil also support the hypothesis that mammalian flight most likely evolved in arboreal locomotors, rather than terrestrial runners. This model of flight development, commonly known as the "trees-down" theory, holds that bats first flew by taking advantage of height and gravity to drop down on to prey, rather than running fast enough for a ground-level take off.[23][24] The molecular phylogeny was controversial, as it pointed to microbats not having a unique common ancestry, which implied that some seemingly unlikely transformations occurred. The first is that laryngeal echolocation evolved twice in bats, once in Yangochiroptera and once in the rhinolophoids.[25] The second is that laryngeal echolocation had a single origin in Chiroptera, was subsequently lost in the family Pteropodidae (all megabats), and later evolved as a system of tongue-clicking in the genus Rousettus.[26] Analyses of the sequence of the vocalization gene FoxP2 were inconclusiv



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