Hanging Upside-Down in the Tree of Life

On Tetrapod Zoology, Darren Naish acquaints us with all manner of vesper bats, a group which comprises 410 of the 1110 bat species worldwide. In Part I, Darren provides an overview of the group as a whole, including their snub-nosed morphology, invertebrate eating habits, echolocation frequencies, and migratory tactics, which may have “evolved at least six times independently.” In part III, he looks at a sister group to vesper bats called bent-wing bats, which “have the smallest reported genome of any mammal: it’s about half average size.” And in part VII, Darren explains that desert long-eared bats “drop right on to their scorpion prey and may be repeatedly stung on the body and face while subduing them: amazingly, this seems to have no effect.” In all parts, Darren shows us fantastic pictures of the species at hand, and explains their physical attributes and their position in the phylogenetic tree. There are now XX parts in the complete series.


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