Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

The jawbone of a bat that lived 100,000 years back has been verified as belonging to an extinct species of giant vampire bat.The discovery of the jawbone of the types Desmodus draculae, discovered in a cave in Argentina, is helping complete the substantial gaps in the history of these remarkable animals, and could offer some hints as to why these bats eventually passed away out.
Today, just three of the approximately 1,400 recognized bat species are vampire bats, or Desmodontinae– those that live solely on the blood of other animals, known as hematophages.All three can only be found in Central and South America: the typical vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata), and the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi). These 3 species seem extremely carefully related, which recommends that hematophagy just evolved as soon as in bats, and that all vampire bat types– extinct and extant– all diverged from a common ancestor.Fossils from extinct vampire bat species can assist us unwind why todays types made it through. Finding remains of a bat so closely associated with Mylodontidae habitat could suggest that the latter is correct.If so, this would be constant with theories that the bat species decreased following the termination of megafauna around 10,000 years ago– although, with simply a single specimen, its difficult to make a definitive ruling.

They constitute approximately 20 percent of all known mammal types, which is actually quite a large piece, after blowing up onto the scene around 50 million years ago.You may think, for that reason, that the fossil record is filled with bats, and that charting their evolutionary history and diversification would have much data to draw on.You d be incorrect. Today, simply 3 of the approximately 1,400 known bat types are vampire bats, or Desmodontinae– those that live exclusively on the blood of other animals, understood as hematophages.All 3 can just be discovered in Central and South America: the typical vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata), and the white-winged vampire bat (Diaemus youngi). These three species appear really closely associated, which suggests that hematophagy only evolved as soon as in bats, and that all vampire bat species– extinct and extant– all diverged from a common ancestor.Fossils from extinct vampire bat types can assist us decipher why todays species made it through. It lived during the Pleistocene in Central and South America, up till relatively recently: some remains have been discovered that are recent enough not to have actually fossilized, suggesting that it might just have passed away out a couple of hundred years ago.It was likewise the biggest vampire bat understood to have actually existed– it was around 30 percent bigger than its closest living relative, todays common vampire bat, with a wingspan estimated to be around 50 centimeters (20 inches). Discovering remains of a bat so carefully associated with Mylodontidae habitat might suggest that the latter is correct.If so, this would be constant with theories that the bat species decreased following the extinction of megafauna around 10,000 years ago– although, with just a single specimen, its difficult to make a conclusive judgment.

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