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The Bat – Order Chiroptera - Pictures & The Flying Primate Theory

The Bat is definitely one of the coolest mammals. They are classified in the order Chiroptera and represent over 1000 and counting species worldwide. If you take a good look at various Bat Pictures, you will notice extreme diversity. There are small bats, large bats, Insectivorous Bats, blood drinking Vampire Bats, big eared bats, small eared bats, there are even Leaf Nosed Bats that have elaborate “Leaf Shaped” structures on the tip of their noses. These creatures are extremely adaptable and have evolved over millions of years to inhabit most tropical and temperate regions around the World.
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All Bats are classified into the suborder Megachiroptera or the suborder Microchiroptera. With very little exception, the large bats like the “Flying Foxes or Fruit Bats” are placed in the suborder Megachiroptera and the small bats like the “Vampire Bat“ in the suborder Microchiroptera. Most bats regardless of suborder have “Scent Glands” that produce a highly musky odor very similar in smell to that of an African Bush Baby (Galago garnettii) a type of nocturnal Prosimian Primate.

Bats are recognized as the only Flying Mammal, with some scientists theorizing that some of the larger species of Fruit Bats “Megachiroptera” are actually primates. This theory is still unproven but if it is ever validated it would mean that bats would also be considered the only Flying Primate. How cool would that be? The anatomy of a bat brain and its optic nerve help support the “Flying Primate Theory”. Another interesting bit of supporting information can be found in the anatomy of a bat wing. A bat's wing anatomically is very similar to that of a primate hand. It contains very similar finger bones! Its 5th digit has a short curved claw called a “Bat Thumb”. This “Thumb” is what the bat uses along with its toes to hang itself upside down and to climb. Most Old World Bats also possess a second claw or “Finger Nail” on their 2nd finger. Bat Toes also contain small sharp claws to help it hang upside down when not assisted by the Thumb Claw. The wing itself is not composed of bird feathers, as bats are mammals. Instead, it is two tightly stretched layers of skin membranes connected together by connective tissue without flesh between the layers. This is why a bats wings are translucent. Bat Wings are so thin that you can actually see the bat's blood vessels. All the fingers with exception of the bat's thumb help stretch the skin thin during flight. Bat wing skin is a really thin membrane that originated from the skin of the animal's back and side.
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Learn more >> Bat Radar - Echolocation - Vision & Habitat | Pictures of Bats | Vampire Bats | Fruit Bats

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