Scientists discover fossilised remains of million-year-old burrowing bat in New Zealand

13 January 2018, 06:36 PM
Scientists discover fossilised remains of million-year-old burrowing bat in New Zealand (File Photo)
Scientists discover fossilised remains of million-year-old burrowing bat in New Zealand (File Photo)

An atypical study, led by a group of scientists from Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. has discovered fossilised remains of Vulcanops jennyworthyae, an extinct bat species.

The ancient creature is being found in the South Island of New Zealand and believed to live millions of years ago.

The burrowing bat is itself quite weird and the bones as well as teeth of the animal have left the researchers shocked.

According to scientists, this particular bat was thrice the size of a normal bat and was able to walk on all the four legs.

“This fossil bat indicates that there once was greater ecological diversity in the New Zealand’s bat fauna,” the authors wrote in their thesis.

Moreover, the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports reveal that, the fossils of the bat weigh about 40 grams and is the biggest of the lot. Researchers suggest the peculiar animal was not able to fly and used to walk like humans while searching for foods. When it comes to food, Vulcanops jennyworthyae was mainly depended on vertebrates and plants hidden under the tree branches or leaves.

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Besides these, the ancient creature was much similar to the South American bats and had a varied diet like spiders and a few other insects.

The big sized teeth of the animal were an advantage and made it easier to consume both plant material and smaller version of vertebrates which is similar to its modern cousins in South America.

Also Read: 150 million-year-old fossilized remains of sea reptile discovered in Antarctica: Scientists

However, the cooling and drying trend of New Zealand for an extended period of time has led many bat species towards annihilation, leaving just two species in the modern fauna of New Zealand. 

First Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 06:19 PM
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