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Bizarre walking bat has ancient heritage
Date:7/29/2009

re bats from walking. Likewise, the rich rainforest environment in which the ancestors of the mystacinid bats evolved in ancient Australia was teeming with ground-based competitors and predators."

A small secretive creature with velvety fur, the lesser short-tailed bat is New Zealand's only terrestrial mammal: it spends long periods on the ground in heavily forested areas, hunting insects and seeking out fruit, nectar and pollen.

It also appears to have evolved a special relationship as a pollinator for the Hades flower, or woodrose, a parasitic plant that produces nectar from blooms near ground level at the base of tree trunks.

Among other unusual traits, the bat is thought to use its teeth and claws to excavate roosting burrows and males appear to compete for mates by gathering for singing competitions in their breeding season.


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Contact: Bob Beale
bbeale@unsw.edu.au
61-241-170-5435
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

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